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The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) India chapter, which was launched in January this year at SATTE 2015, recently launched its Educators Network Forum with the inauguration of its first Educators Network Office in the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SVIMS) in Mumbai. Dr. Sitikantha Mishra, Chairman, Board of Tourism & Hospitality Studies, AICTE was the chief guest for the event.

Highlighting the objectives of the Forum, Ajay Prakash, Co-Founder, IIPTI listed global exchange programmes, rewards and recognition, educationals and workshops, research presentations, creating international platforms for ambassadors of peace through tourism and collaboration with other institutes and organisations for the cause as some of it’s aims.

Dr. BR Manjunath, Chairman, IIPT Educators Network Forum informed that SVIMS recently signed a MoU with CCU IIPT and even took 14 of its students to attend the Youth Forum for peace through tourism in Johannesburg, felicitating them as the first Indian ambassadors for peace through tourism.
Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary Tourism, Government of Maharashtra expressed her willingness to partner with IIPTI to achieve some of it’s objectives and lend government support where needed. She further revealed that the State is developing new circuits in Nagpur, among which are the Gandhi and Babu Kutir circuits. She encouraged IIPTI to include these in their objectives to promote it.

“Tourism employs one in every 11 people globally and contributes an average of 8-9 per cent to a nation’s GDP, making it an extremely important sector, and putting it in a position to be the first driver for peace. Each tourist is seen as a potential ambassador for peace, and it is this thinking that encouraged the founding of IIPT,” Prakash said about the importance of IIPTI.

He further stated that IIPT is trying to add peace through tourism to institues’ curricula and create dedicated peace parks and villages/towns which have been successful initiatives in other countries. IIPT’s focus is to build international understand and cooperation, improved quality of environment, poverty reduction, women empowerment, preservation of heritage and culture, adoption of villages and sustainability among others.
IIPTI is set to host its first peace awards for women in September 2015. They are also planning their global award ceremony for the same named “Celebrating Her” at ITB Berlin 2016.

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