“The Tourism Sector has the unique ability to effect substantial social and economic changes, by sustaining dialogue, by building peace, and by creating prosperity.”

This was the message which President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca relayed to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, officials, and staff of the World Tourism Organisation, as well as members of the Spanish Diplomatic Corps.

The President stated that tourism can be a competent means for diplomacy, since it shows us that positive experiences in new destinations can transform people’s perceptions, and give them a new understanding of different cultures.

“Tourism,” President Coleiro Preca said, “reminds us of the most fundamental values, of togetherness and respect, which underpin our humanity.”

In fact, the President stated that when speaking about tourism, “we must ensure, at every opportunity,” to emphasise the opportunities that tourism offers humanity, to create sustainable peace and prosperity, for the benefit of our communities and our societies.

President Coleiro Preca said that tourism should continue to provide a platform for cultural connections, to strengthen the social, political, and commercial relationships that exist across our different nations, adding that “we must seize every opportunity to ensure that tourism, in our Mediterranean Region, maximises its potential as a catalyst for the promotion of peace and prosperity.”

Here, the President commended the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, for its vision in setting up the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, which is so effectively, in fact, promoting the goal of peace and prosperity.

President Coleiro Preca stated that as the tourism sector expands into new and more innovative territories, it must also keep the environmental wellbeing of our ecosystems at heart, since tourism is a critical component in our strategies to preserve healthy and sustainable life on this planet, while also investing in blue and green economic strategies.

“We must lead by example, by encouraging dialogue; by fostering opportunities for friendship; by celebrating diversity; by investing in our ecosystems, our societies, and our economies; and by promoting positive peace around our world. Let us continue to make peace the goal of all our striving, and the benchmark of our success, for the benefit of both present and future generations and all of humanity,” the President concluded.