Tourism can promote good human relations

06 Dec 2009

While tourism can contribute positively to the development of a country and to the prosperity of its people, it can also be wrongly exploited to turn it against the genuine interests of the human person, said the archbishop of Goa, Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao on Saturday.
Ferrao made the comments while releasing two books on tourism in Goa and how to curtail the negative impacts of tourism in the state. The books are titled `The Challenge and Prospects of Tourism in Goa Today' and ‘Claiming the Right to Say No'.
Ferrao said tourism can serve to promote good human relations among peoples of different cultures and bring about an enrichment of their respective cultures, thus promoting a well-meaning and far-reaching dialogue among nations and cultures.
He said the contribution of tourism to building peace, understanding among peoples, the creation of jobs and the promotion of social development are universally recognised factors.
The bishop, however, added, "It is also true that unfortunately tourism, like any other tool of development, can be wrongly exploited and abusively used so as to make it or allow it to turn against the genuine interests of the human person and human dignity."
Explaining why the church is concerned in this issue, Ferrao said, "In recent times, and particularly since the second Vatican Council, the church is becoming increasingly aware of her vocation of being `truly and intimately linked with mankind and its history' and of making her own the joys and the hopes, the grieves and anxieties of men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted."
‘The Challenge and Prospects of Tourism in Goa Today' has been edited and compiled by Ranjan Solomon, a consultant to the church organisation Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT).
Said Solomon in his introduction, "Caritas-Goa and the Council for Social Justice and Peace, the two bodies which initiated the programme, saw their goal as affirming the idea that tourism is, in the final analysis, an encounter that belongs in the realm of human affairs and that concerns human beings. The enrichment that tourism can produce must not be simply economic or material. There has to be a spiritual dimension to it. Hence, it was important that the entire work be approached from the perspective of humanizing tourism."
‘Claiming the Right to Say No' is a study on Israeli tourists' behaviour and patterns in Goa and deals with the "enclave kind of tourism" normally resorted to by Israelis and more recently by Russians. It has been written by a group of seminarians from Rachol Seminary.
The book aims "to help the "researchers" understand the travel patterns and behaviour of Israeli tourists, situated within the Indian and Goan context and make links to their own studies in theology"