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Role of tourism in promoting intercultural dialogue

04 May 2024 [12:55] - TODAY.AZ

By laman Ismayilova

Tourism sector serves as a powerful force for promoting intercultural dialogue by uniting people of different backgrounds.

Known as a dynamic and evolving industry, the tourism sector provides an abundance of possibilities for cultural exchange.

Azerbaijan's rich culture and history, diverse traditions offer travelers lots of opportunities to engage with local communities.

The country has embarked upon lots of measures of recovery of the country's tourism sector after the pandemic.

As a result, an significant increase in the number of tourists coming to the country has been recorded, which has a positive impact on the Azerbaijani economy.

Major works have also been carried out in Azerbaijan's liberated territories to revive tourism. In the near future, Garabagh is expected to be a major tourism destination.

Participants of the 6th edition of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku exchange views on the role of tourism as a tool that connects people and promotes intercultural dialogue within the panel session.

As reported by Azernews, the session was moderated by the founder and editor-in-chief of the magazine "Annals of Tourism Research" Jafar Jafari.

Addressing the panel session, chairman of the Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency Fuad Nagiyev stated that Azerbaijan's tourism sector has been fully restored after COVID pandemic. A significant increase in the tourism flows has been recorded in this regard.

"Azerbaijan's tourism potential is high. Also, tourism creates an opportunity to connect people. With the increasing number of tourists around the world, people of different cultures are constantly exchanging. Tourism plays a major role in fostering intercultural dialogue," Fuad Nagiyev said.

UN Tourism Executive Director Zoritsa Urosevic hailed the organization level of the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue.

"Through the forum, we can influence the intercultural dialogue. The role of tourism in creating income is known. To be more clear, ten percent of jobs are related to tourism. More than 1 trillion tourists will be registered in the world in 2023. This is quite a large number. In this sense, we see how tourism creates conditions for domestic and international dialogue", said Zoritsa Urosevic.

Chairperson of the Sarajevo City Council Jasmin Ademovic drew attention to the importance of providing more information about tourism to young people.

Founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa and Amakoro Songa Lodge Rosette Chantal Rugamba said that Rwanda is a good example in terms of tourism recovery

"This country is small and is currently recovering. Tourism has a big role in this regard. We have developed tourism to eliminate poverty and improve the status of our country. Reconstruction tourism is the main condition for this. This is not possible without peace," she said.

Senior Expert on Youth and Talent Development Lucy Garner outlined that the collection between tourism and peacebuilding around the world needs to be better understood. Everyone should be able to live in peace.

Emphasizing the importance of young people being active in new projects, the expert said:

"There are about 1.8 billion young people in the world. They are facing serious challenges recently. Young people are trying to take control of their lives and this is a good sign. We should listen to their opinions and evaluate them. I think that intercultural dialogue will also have a great impact on this. Our goal should be to create conditions for communication between young people of different religions and cultures. Implementation of joint projects is the main condition for this."

Member of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) Daniela Otero emphasized the importance of holding such forums for the development of the tourism field.

Co-founder & General Director, Get up and Go Colombia Miguel Carvajal noted projects that support communities in the field of tourism.

"More centers should be established in this regard, and people should be given information about tourism in those places. I think all countries should have such places. Because indeed, tourism is a very important field," Daniela Otero said.

The panel session continued with discussions on other issues of tourism field.


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