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4 Nov, 2023

04 Nov 1995: The Death of “Peace Through Tourism” and the Failure of Travel & Tourism Leadership

04 Nov should be declared a Day of Mourning in Travel & Tourism.

It marked the first and last time the Prime Minister of any country addressed an audience of leading hoteliers on how they, the whole world and the future generation will profit from “PEACE THROUGH TOURISM”.

A retired military officer proudly proclaiming that decades of violence and war would soon end.

That the Holy Land, sacrosanct to all the Abrahamic faiths, would soon be brimming with pilgrims and tourists. Creating jobs. Buzzing with business.

Not just in Israel and Palestine. But also Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and right across the Levant.

That dream perished on 04 Nov 1995, a mere 48 hours after that speech. Killed by a Jewish Zionist fanatic extremist terrorist.

In an abject failure of leadership, Travel & Tourism did little to keep the dream alive.

In my 42 years of reporting on Travel & Tourism, I have heard many industry leaders make lofty speeches.

One recurring theme is how much they care for the “future generation.”

In the light of the brutal violence in the Middle East today, I consider that claim to be a monstrous hoax.

The most important thing any leader can do for the future generation is to save them from the scourge of war and conflict.

But today’s future generation will feel the ripple effect of this conflict globally for years to come.

How many Travel & Tourism leaders today have the guts to even call for peace?

I was the only travel trade journalist from Asia in Tel Aviv the night PM Rabin was assassinated.

I have preserved a copious, unmatched archive of the publications, speeches, newsclippings related to that historic tragedy.

I am sharing just a few snippets today because I want the future generation to learn the lessons of history.

The future generation needs to hold this current generation of leaders accountable for the failure to uphold the moral dignity and sanctity of the dictum PEACE THROUGH TOURISM.

PM’s Rabin’s dream of achieving PEACE THROUGH TOURISM is now well and truly dead.

While his terrorist killer’s dreams are in fast-forward mode.

Remember this day: 04 November 1995.

Many more Days of Mourning are still to come.