‘Tourism can foster peace’

Bhubaneswar: The ancient link between Macedonia, the land of Alexander the great, and India has influenced mankind as it enabled two ancient civilizations to meet and exchange ideas towards fostering peace, Dr Toni Atanasovski, Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in New Delhi, said here on Tuesday.

“Exchange of ideas can benefit all and particularly civilizations that date back to thousands of years,” he said.

Atanasovski was speaking on the second day of the three-day International Symposium on ‘Fostering Tourism for Global Peace’ at the SOA University here.

Citing an example, the Ambassador said that the culture in Macedonia influenced people to forgive someone who has hurt you. “Though difficult, you need to forgive that person not because he deserved to be forgiven, but because you deserve peace,” he said.

Recalling that Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia though she became famous as the apostle of mercy and peace in India, he said that a huge 35 metre monument was being built in Macedonia in her honour.

The symposium was organized by the SOA University in collaboration with the Indian chapter of International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) and Indian Tourism and Hospitality Congress (ITHC).

Presiding over the session, Dr Vivek Pattanayak, former bureaucrat and former Director of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, said peace could be ensured if nations made a conscious effort to promote bilateral relations through tourism.

“In history, it has been recorded that travel has helped understanding of people, culture, religions, tribes and communities. It can work,” he added.

The symposium was also addressed by Prof Arvind Alok, Chairman of the Buddhist Monuments Development Council, New Delhi, Prof Kiran Yadav, Vice-President, IIPT and Prof Sitikantha Mishra, Advisor and Dean of the faculty of hospitality and tourism management of SOA University.