A Holistic View of Tourism

The Ecumenical Coalition for Tourism in the Third World is a non-governmental organization that aims to find a solution to the negative effects of tourism on society and the environment by supporting vulnerable individuals and groups. For the past two decades, it has worked to ensure access to the benefits and benefits of tourism for all members of society.

The aim is to encourage all those involved in the issue to reorganize the dehumanizing and destructive aspects of tourism, especially for women, children, marginalized communities and the environment.

The Ecumenical Coalition for Tourism is a regional ecumenical (inter-Christian) organization based in Hong Kong, seeking to analyze the nature and effects of tourism in Asia, with the task of promoting sustainable, authentic and life-affirming cultural meetings. Finding the balance between social responsibility and entertainment is the challenge that the Ecumenical Coalition for Tourism poses to the tourism industry. As its CEO said, “for the church and its affiliates, the challenge is to find an alternative paradigm for the tourism program that is endowed with core values ​​such as justice, development, respect for cultures and environmental sensitivity.” This vision churches are trying to develop a more holistic view of tourism.

Also at the Conference of the Ecumenical Coalition for Tourism, the Ecumenical Coalition for Tourism in the Third World and the World Council of Churches, held in Chiang Rai, Thailand (14-1801.2002) Interreligious Dialogue of Indigenous Peoples issued a declaration on tourism and globalization. The church can still play a major role in exposing and rethinking aspects that harm life. Churches have a responsibility to identify and then protect victims of tourism. Acceptable tourism is based on the interest and needs of the local population, especially in the process of planning and implementation. The intention is for information, public debate and discussion to be an integral part of this process. This should include:

1. the promotion of concerns about opportunities and threats from tourism for local residents;

2. participation and decision-making with the inclusion of as many people as possible;

3. sharing positive economic, social and cultural benefits from tourism;

4. providing better jobs in tourism for the local population by improving working conditions, social security, the length of the working week and vocational training;

5. supporting the local culture and avoiding social and cultural damages caused by tourism.

The seven principles of the coalition are the following:

1. Focus on tourism and its impact on the lives of people in the Third World and the environment.

2. Providing opportunities for the local population affected by tourism to express their views and concerns.

3. Condemnation of dishonest practices in tourism and purposeful policy for their eradication.

4. Promotion of quality tourist activity, which is in compliance with the principles of a fair, sustainable society.

5. Supporting indigenous peoples and supporting their efforts to achieve a fair price, due to the impact of tourism.

6. Lobbying against human rights violations as a result of projects in the field of tourism development at national and international level.

7. Providing research and information on the impact of tourism.

Once again today, in the conditions of a pandemic, the World Tourism Organization and all “people of good will” are called upon to realize their responsibility to support all endeavors for more humane international tourism.

However, tourism policies are changing, from a minor role in economic development to a significant contribution to the global economy, which today requires a more strategic response. A priority is to influence the international process, such as the United Nations Year of Ecotourism’2002, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the negotiations of the World Tourism Organization – the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the Application of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. In these global processes, the adequate response and contribution consists in raising questions about the role of women in tourism, human rights, the struggle of indigenous peoples, children in tourism, the environment and the overall integrity of creation.


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