Aswan Recommendations on Maximizing Tourism's Role in Linking Cultures




The Aswan Recommendations were issued on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2011, under the patronage of H.E. the Prime Minister of Egypt, and under the auspices of UNWTO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of Egypt, celebrated around the theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures (Aswan, Egypt, 27 September 2011).

‘Throughout history, travel has been the way in which we come to know and understand one another socially and culturally. Tourism today, with 940 million international tourist arrivals, is therefore not just one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economic sectors, but one of the world’s principal vehicles for human interaction:

Considering that according to UNWTO’s Statutes, the fundamental aim of the Organization shall be “the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms”;

‘In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on a Culture of Peace which states that a culture of peace is linked to “advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity among of civilizations, peoples and cultures”;

‘Recognizing that tourism links cultures and fosters dialogue and can therefore serve as a stepping-stone towards mutual understating and respect, human enrichment, regard for cultural and religious diversity, tolerance, and human development, while preserving cultural heritage, maintaining ecological integrity, celebrating and enhancing creativity and fostering community empowerment;

The Aswan Recommendations identify the following key actions to enable the best possible interaction between visitors and hosts, and to maximize tourism’s contribution to peaceful coexistence:

  1. That awareness-raising campaigns be carried out to ensure that visitors and businesses are actively informed and involved in respecting local cultural norms and values;
  1. That all those supplying tourism services possess local knowledge in order to serve as mediators between visitors and local communities and to be able to provide an enriching experience based on respectful interaction with local communities;
  1. That local community engagement be mandatory in tourism development, particularly local hiring, thus including the local population in the tourism value-chain, alleviating poverty and contributing to social cohesion as a principle of sustainable development;
  1. That all tourism stakeholders commit to the principles set out in the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, notably Article 1: Tourism´s contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies, Article 4: Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and a contributor to its enhancement, and Article 5: Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities, and share with UNWTO and the international community the actions taken to implement these principles in their policies and business practices;
  1. That the respect and protection of the ecological balance of the tourism destination be prioritized as essential for sustainable tourism and thus for understanding among peoples and cultures;
  1. That support be afforded to the actions envisaged by UNWTO in the field of tourism and intercultural dialogue, given its fundamental aim to promote and develop tourism “with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace”

Aswan, Egypt, 27 September 2011

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