International UNWTO-Handbook on “Tourism and Peace” will be published in December


Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the University Klagenfurt/Austria in cooperation with UNWTO

Tourism as an instrument for peace?

Tourism and Peace as an emerging field of research has received relevant attention in the past that resulted in various initiatives, activities and publications. Despite these efforts this area of work is still underexplored and means that tourism as an instrument for peace remains still an untapped resource and is not used to its full potential. On the other hand it is understood that tourism as an economic activity can also play a role in the context of conflicts if not managed properly by all stakeholders involved.

Compilation of current knowledge

The overall aim of the UNWTO Handbook on Tourism and Peace is to compile current knowledge and provide for an overview on the most important areas of work and research, in particular on tourism as a potential tool in peace building efforts. By inviting various international experts in the field of tourism and/or peace to contribute with their knowledge to the handbook and by providing for some selected case studies from various regions of the world it is expected to showcase how and under which conditions tourism can and cannot contribute to peace. The contributions will also include general and concrete recommendations and thus help in a better understanding on tourism as a tool in peace building efforts.

COMPASS and swisspeace contributed a handbook chapter

COMPASS and our research partner swisspeace in Bern had the honor of submitting one of the most relevant articles for the handbook that comprises the most important findings of our joint study (we already did in 2009) on the role of the tourism private sector in peace building efforts. In scope of  this study we researched the three country cases of Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Croatia very intensively and up to now this is one of the only case studies about the private tourism sector in conflict affected tourism destinations.

Overriding goals

The UNWTO Handbook on Tourism and Peace shall be a contribution to the overall discussion within the international, academic and public community on the impact of sustainable peace building for a global society that is based on justice, respect and mutual understanding. Herewith tourism as a possible tool with huge potential is put on the international agenda.


The handbook is going to be published in December 2013.


More information is to find on the website of the University Klagenfurt/Austria.


Author: Martina Leicher

I am Managing Director of COMPASS and studied Geography and Ethnology at the Universlty of Cologne and Urban Development at the University of Bonn. My consultancy focus lies in destination management and tourism marketing, as well as in research with concentration on tourism & peace and sustainibility. Contact:, tel. +49 (0)221 29062838

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