People, Travel

Study Links Peace to Tourism

Study Links Peace to TourismStudy Links Peace to Tourism

With terror and security scares against tourists filling many headlines in the past few months, the World Travel & Tourism Council has released a research report quantifying for the first time the links between tourism and peace.

“While the travel industry has often been recognized for its ability to drive peace, security, and understanding, to date, there has been little empirical evidence to support this link,” a statement on the WTTC website reads.

The report, conducted with the Institute of Economics and Peace, the world’s pre-eminent think tank measuring peace, shows how important an open and sustainable tourism sector can be for the levels of peace in a country. Countries with more open and sustainable tourism sectors have higher levels of peace and lower levels of conflict and violence. Increases in tourism sustainability can lead to improvements in the functioning of governments.

As governments respond to tourism demand and create a welcoming environment for further tourism expansion, this ultimately increases future peace, the report states.

Over the last decade the world has become increasingly unequal in terms of its levels of peacefulness, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries are facing greater levels of violence and conflict.

The research shows that the more sustainable and open a country’s tourism sector, the less peace levels have declined. Even in conflict affected countries, all of which saw their levels of peace drop in the period between 2008 and 2015, those that had more open and sustainable tourism saw a significantly lower drop in peace than countries with less sustainable tourism sectors.