Dr. Antonia Neubauer to be Featured Speaker at IIPT World Symposium

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Dr. Neubauer will speak on "Sustainability and Development: Moving from Charity to Empowerment and independence" during this event to honor the legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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True community empowerment requires more than a ‘quick fix’. Transforming a village takes time and a sustainable, holistic approach to development that includes education, enterprise and training.

Myths And Mountains announced this week that Dr. Antonia Neubauer, President of Myths and Mountains and Founder of READ Global will be a featured speaker at the IIPT World Symposium: Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities through Tourism, Culture and Sport being held at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, South Africa (adjacent to Johannesburg International Airport), February 16-19, 2015.

The interactive and action-oriented Symposium will honor the legacies of the world’s three great champions of Peace and Non-Violent Resistance: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. with the aim of affirming these legacies by building bridges of tourism, friendship and peace in regions throughout the world.

The Symposium, endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will also commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the African Union, 20 years of South African Democracy and the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the U.S.

Dr. Neubauer will be speaking on “Sustainability and Development: Moving from Charity to Empowerment and independence.”

As she contends, “True community empowerment requires more than a 'quick fix'. Transforming a village takes time and a sustainable, holistic approach to development that includes education, enterprise and training."

IIPT is using its historical convening power to bring world leaders of the travel and tourism industry to South Africa as keynote speakers for this milestone event including: Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Mr. David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); Salih Cene, President, Skal International; Martin Craigs, President and CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA - Nov. 2011 to Nov. 2014); Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP); Mok Singh, Skal International President (2012 – 2013) and member, IIPT International Advisory Board as well as leading Ministers of Tourism including the visionary Hon. Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism, Seychelles and creator of the Carnavales de Carnavales and other Ministers of Tourism.

The Symposium will have two basic aims: to identify strategies and best practice in cultivating productive, sustainable, peaceful and welcoming communities through tourism, culture and sports; and to determine lessons learned from countries that have experienced conflict and the potential roles of tourism, culture and sports in reconciliation and post-conflict socio-economic re-development.

Design of the Symposium will be highly interactive with international experts in community development, community tourism, sports, culture and peace engaging with delegates in the exchange of experiences and ideas. Ministers of Tourism from countries that have experienced conflict will share their insights and suggestions related to strategies for reconciliation and healing wounds of conflict and best practices in harnessing tourism, culture and sports in the post-conflict socio-economic re-development process.

In addition to Ministers of Tourism from Africa, selected Ministers from countries of Europe, Asia and South America that have experienced conflict have also been invited to participate in interactive plenary session panels.

A special action initiative already begun in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the African Union is an IIPT/Skal Cities, Towns and Villages of Peace Across South Africa project with a goal of 50 cities, towns and villages dedicating themselves to peace in the weeks leading up to the Symposium. Some ten cities, towns and villages have dedicated themselves to peace including the City of Pietermaritzburg where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train 120 years ago initiating the Non-Violent Resistance Movement. Other action initiatives will be announced in the weeks prior to and during the Symposium.

As with past IIPT Conferences and Summits, Pre-Symposium Events will include a full day Educators Forum, sponsored by Livingstone International University (LIUTEBM), and full day Student/Youth Leadership Forum. A full day community tourism training workshop and a half day media workshop will also feature as Pre-Symposium events on February 16.

Host Partners for the Symposium include: South Africa Tourism, Gauteng Tourism, the Metropolitan Municipalities of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, South African Airways and Emperors Palace.    

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which has supported IIPT International events since the First IIPT Global Conference, Vancouver 1988, is again a partner in the Symposium together with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) the only global forum whose Members consist of the top 150 private sector decision makers in the Travel & Tourism industry. Other partners include: Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), Skal International, the world’s largest membership organization of travel and tourism professionals with 17,000 members in 87 countries, and the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

This is IIPT’s 17th international event and seventh global summit since its founding in 1986, the UN International Year of Peace.

More information is available on the IIPT Website: http://www.iipt.org and registration is available on the Symposium Website: http://www.iiptsymposium.com

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Myths And Mountains (http://www.mythsandmountains.com), founded in 1988, designs unusual trips in Asia, Southeast Asia and South America, focusing on cultures and crafts, religion and pilgrimage sites, environment and natural history, and traditional medicines. Among the many awards for its innovative itineraries are several of National Geographic Traveler's "50 Tours Of A Lifetime", National Geographic Adventure's Top 10 Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, Travel + Leisure's Ultimate Adventure Outfitters From Around The Globe and its Global Vision Award for Development, and Conde Nast Traveler's Top Travel Expert for Nepal.

READ Global (http://www.readglobal.org), was established in 1991 as the non-profit arm of Myths And Mountains with the aim of combining education, enterprise and community development to make rural villages viable places for people to live, learn and prosper. Today READ is an independent 501c3 working in rural Asia to build community library resource centers, seed small businesses and offer programs in education, economic empowerment, technology and women’s development. In 2006 READ was the winner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $1,000,000 Access to Learning Award.

About International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)    
IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict - and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”

Website: http://www.iipt.org

For more information, please contact Ms. Bernadette Nickol - Email: bernadette(at)nickolandpartners(dot)com

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Stephanie Norby

Antonia Neubauer
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