The BEF welcomes WINTA, the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance

The BEF received members of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) - Tourism, they affirm, promote inter-culturalism and peace between cultures

March 15th, 2019
Elisa Vallette, News from Berlin
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Tourism generates cultural interactions around the world, contributing to inter-culturalism and the respect for all cultures. WINTA, the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, aims at connecting local indigenous cultures with the tourism industry.

Tourism provides economic opportunities but also contributes to social well-being and cultural preservation. However, WINTA recognizes that if improperly developed, tourism can diminish and destroy these cultures. Therefore, the Larrakia Declaration (2012) sets out six principles to inspire equal partnerships between the tourism industry and indigenous peoples that support community empowerment and the well-being of the local economy, environment, and culture.

WINTA promotes authentic travel experiences in indigenous communities, where the host and the visitor have equal interactions, learn about each other, and share emotional moments together. Tourists have a lot to learn from indigenous wisdom. Indeed, indigenous cultures view the individuals, animals, and the natural environment as fundamentally connected. They respect, protect, and preserve Mother Earth. Frank Antoine Preswha, from the Skwlax community in Canada, invited the audience to sing with him to feel these invisible bonds that tie us. While today the dominant paradigm of exploiting natural resources for mass consumption has shown its limits with frequent climate change disasters, indigenous wisdom should inspire people to respect nature. Therefore, tourism in indigenous communities contributes to a cultural shift needed to combat climate change.

On March 6th, Professor Moncef Bakail opened the Berlin Economic Forum 2019 with a first conference titled “Tourism and socio-economic development in Africa.” His answer to a short interview also reveals the interplay between tourism and inter-culturalism. Moncef Bakail, research professor of African history and politics at the University of Algiers 2, thinks that globalization positively promotes inter-culturalism between diverse cultures. Tourism for instance enhances UNESCO cultural heritage sites. However, he deplores the fact that cultural tourism is still reserved for a specific category of people. He suggests promoting cultural tourism to a wider public through marketing and advertisement. According to him, some museums and other cultural and historical sites tickets are still too expensive. It is urgent to make them accessible to everyone.

Therefore, tourism contributes to inter-culturalism. When properly developed, cultural tourism invites people to deeply understand other cultures, exchange knowledge, learn from each other’s. Indigenous tourism, in particular, can inspire a cultural shift toward more sustainable lifestyles. The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy was honored to receive indigenous individuals who delivered their wisdom to a curious and attentive audience.


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