Tourism and Peace, Peace and Tourism – an inseparable union
Author: Karin Chladek, Augustin Nicolescou, Published on: 1 January 2009
What is the impact [of tourism] on the conflict itself, on the local society? What is the impact if tourists stop going to such places? What is, in the end, better for the people who have to live year-round in these countries? The short answer is, “it depends”. Countries in conflict tend to have serious economic problems, with high levels of inequality and poverty. When tourists stop coming, there is little that can replace the lost income. Suffering increases…Tourists cannot bring peace to a country. But we can bring resources in terms of economic stimulation, as witnesses to the conditions and realities on the ground, and in terms of sharing our own knowledge and experience with our hosts. The presence of tourists, which is often vital for governments’ budgets, also tends to have a moderating impact on internal repression. It is easier to do dirty work with no witnesses around.