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Friday, 13 July, 2018, 14 : 48 PM [IST]

IIPT regional Awards for Peace Through Tourism conferred at the 1st Resilience Summit in Jordan

The first regional Resilience through Tourism Summit organised by the Travel Weekly group in association with Jordan Tourism Board and USAID held at the Fairmont, Amman on June 26 and 27, saw four recipients for the IIPT regional Awards for Peace Through Tourism. IIPT is the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, a global not-for-profit body which works with the vision of making travel & tourism world’s first global peace industry. Handed out by Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General, UNWTO and Chairman of the IIPT Advisory Board, Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News and Ajay Prakash, President, IIPT India, the awards were judged by the international jury comprising Dr. Rifai, Dr. Louis D’Amore, Anita Mendiratta, Fiona Jeffrey OBE, Debbie Flynn and Prakash who selected 4 winners out of 28 nominations received from local businesses, destinations and NGO’s.

Speaking of the Awards, D’Amore, Founder President, IIPT, said, “The regional International Peace Through Tourism Awards have been launched to highlight global tourism’s contribution to prosperity and peace. The new awards act as a benchmark to celebrate how far countries and communities have come since the Amman Declaration on Peace Through Tourism was confirmed in 2000 at the IIPT’s previous Global Summit. With Jordan playing host to the RTTS Summit, the Middle East was given the unique first opportunity to showcase the considerable progress of peace through tourism in the region.”

Award Winners

Peace Through Community Enhancement Award was jointly conferred to the Petra National Trust (PNT) and the Jordan River Foundation. Established in 1989, Petra National Trust is a registered Jordanian non-governmental organisation and Jordan’s integral body in the conservation, preservation, and sustainable management of national cultural heritage – with a focus on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra. It has successfully coordinated preservation projects and studies on such issues as the Nabataean hydrological systems, biodiversity, the geophysical stability of the Siq, and the unique Nabataean wall painting at Beidha.

Jordan River Foundation (JRF) was established in 1995 by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with the overall aim of empowering communities and promoting child safety. Starting with the Bani Hamida Weaving Project, it is now part of the Jordan River Designs Handicrafts Program (JRD); a socio-economic program for women to provide employment opportunities that enhance their livelihoods while developing their knowledge and skills in handicraft production and entrepreneurship.

Peace Through Cultural Diversity Award was awarded to the Jordan Trail Association, which has introduced the 52 villages it passes through to the benefits of tourism, and provided much needed revenue and employment to local residents. This year resulted in JOD 70,000 being spent directly on local community engagement

Ecohotels (Feynan Ecolodge) was awarded with Peace Through Respect of Sustainable Development Award. Operated with minimal impact on the environment, Feynan Ecolodge contributes to the conservation of Dana Reserve and helping the impoverished local community through employment and micro business development. In particular, all staff are from the local community with 50% of revenue benefitting the local residents and all electricity used by the Ecolodge is generated by photovoltaic panels.



Dr Rifai commented, “We received amazing nominations from such a truly diverse range of institutions across Jordan and beyond. Every single entry demonstrated an exemplary commitment to achieving peace through tourism and the judges had a very difficult job determining the winners - so congratulations to everyone who entered.”

Speaking about the Awards, Prakash said, “While discussing Resilience through Tourism, it is important to recognise and applaud businesses and organisations who perceive tourism as a force for good, and who, through this recognition of their work, could serve as role models.” 

Fiona Jeffery, Founder & Chairman, Just a Drop, commented, “It’s been an honour as a Global Ambassador for Peace Through Tourism to judge these inaugural awards. It’s also truly impressive the standard of exemplary tourism development work emerging from the Middle East and Jordan in particular that these awards have helped highlight and share with the rest of the world.”

L-R: Jordan River Foundation representative; Daniela Wagner - Director International Partnerships, Jacobs Media; Aya Khairy - Executive Director, Petra National Trust; Dr. Taleb Rifai; Issa Gamoh, Secy Gen. Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, Jordan; Nabil Tarazi - Founder & MD EcoHotels; Akel Biltaji - Former Minister of Tourism & Chairman Abdali Group; Bashir Daoud, CEO, Jordan Trail; Ajay Prakash & Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News





Commenting on the Resilience through Tourism Summit and the Awards, Daniela Wagner, Jacobs Media, said, “Jordan truly embodies the spirit of Resilience and the power of Tourism as a vehicle for Peace. It is fitting that the first IIPT Regional Awards are being held in Amman which was the setting for the first global summit on Peace Through Tourism in 2000.” 

Anita Mendiratta, Founder and President Cachet Consulting, a sponsor of the Awards, said, “In today’s world forces of change - politically, economically, socially and environmentally - are causing people to question their role as part of the global community. The continued, strong growth of the tourism sector is a direct reflection of the desire of literally hundreds of millions of people across countries, cultures and ideologies to make a conscious effort to learn more about one another, discovering that through respecting and appreciating our differences, we find we are united in our desire for a better, more peaceful tomorrow. The inaugural IIPT Destination Awards, announced in the Kingdom of Jordan, celebrate tourism entities that actively seek to foster this strengthening of connection through travel.”

The Awards were hosted by the Jordan Tourism Board and supported by Abdali group, Cachet Consulting, The Travel Corporation and Robin Tauck.

 
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