The Completion of Expedition 196
Country Number 196: Yemen
Peace Through Tourism
“But Cassie, how exactly can we Promote Peace Through Tourism?” Great question, and one I am asked frequently. As a traveler, you can support the local economy of the place that you visit by staying in hotels that support local travel services and have basic sustainability practices. Typically, these hotels will also engage local organizations to further connect their guests to the local traditional culture and people, to increase further understanding of local heritage. Perhaps when you vacation, or when you seek a career within the travel field, you can support local tour operators and work for hotels that support community-based organizations to further promote rural tourism.
But really, I am a huge advocate of non-judgement of one another, and I firmly believe in not making any assumptions about anyone until you hear their story. Everyone has an extremely unique story, and no two are the same. The only way we can truly create a more peaceful world is by respecting people of all races, religions, genders, and cultural backgrounds and if we’re feeling up for it, choosing to understand where they come from. While we’re all the same, by connecting with people who come from different backgrounds and cultures, we’re able to develop a deeper understanding of overall humanity, thereby creating more of a unity among people of all Nations.
After having spoken to universities and high schools across 30 countries, my main purpose is to educate the youth and particularly the Millennial generation on how we can quantify peace, and then how we can further peace within the tourism industry. Thanks to the Institute for Economics and Peace, I’ve been able to educate the students on the Global Peace Index, set fourth by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This give students hope, knowing that that a series of statistical data exists for each Nation, answering questions as to why they are or are not as peaceful as they could be, and what they’re doing to further develop a more peaceful Nation.
The tourism industry is massive, with 1.3+ billion tourists per year (in 2014) and the UNWTO contributing towards 1/11 of jobs within the tourism industry. Keeping in line with the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism and Skal International, it’s been important for me to discuss the importance that ethical tourism has on students as they consider their future careers. Whether a traveler or employee, connecting to companies that further responsible tourism and programs that aim to support the local economy of that Nation or community, is extremely important in facilitating peace through tourism.
Responsible tourism is equally important in promoting peace through tourism. When a company invests its time in locally sourcing their produce and infrastructure materials, they are supporting the economies of the local people, furthering the creation of a mutual understanding to want to support one another in corporate and local practice.
Building a culture through peace is important when embarking on international travel or considering a career in travel.
Thank you to my hosts in the following countries who have gifted me the opportunity to speak to the students:
A Note To My Sponsors
This Expedition would not be made possible by the immense gratitude of my sponsors and investors, many of whom believed in my dream a year and a half before I had a nickel to my name and it was all just a far distant goal. Flash forward 3 years, and many of you are still supporting me day in and day out. I can not thank you enough.
Here’s to: AIG, Artisan Bags, Clif Bar, Avianca, Air New Zealand, Dogeared, Westcomb, Sovrn Republic, Travisa, Eagle Creek, Eagle Nest Outfitters, Globastar (SPOT), Serengetee, Knomo, Herodion Hotel Athens, Orange Hotel Taipei, Peace Hotel Somalia, Anantara Angkor Hotel and Spa Cambodia, Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp, Cape Hotel Liberia and of course, Quark Expeditions, ensuring that I make it to my last and final continent, Antarctica.
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart