ICTP State­ment: Jor­dan & Ber­lin Ter­ror At­tacks

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL - By Jur­gen T. Stein­metz About the Au­thor: Juer­gen T. Stein­metz is the chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Coali­tion of Tourism Part­ners (ICTP) – a grass­roots Travel & Tourism coali­tion of des­ti­na­tions and stake­hold­ers. For more in­for­ma­tion on ICTP and how to joi

On be­half of the In­ter­na­tional Coali­tion of Tourism Part­ners, I would like to ex­tend our sym­pa­thy and con­do­lences to the vic­tims and their loved ones af­fected by the crim­i­nal at­tacks in Jor­dan, and in Ber­lin dur­ing De­cem­ber 2016. Both in­ci­dents were sense­less acts by dis­guised crim­i­nals aimed at dis­abling the world’s largest in­dus­try: Travel and Tourism.

In the Jor­dan in­ci­dent, out­laws car­ried out an at­tack on a po­lice sta­tion in the south­ern Jor­da­nian city of Kerak, in the vicinity of the Kerak Cas­tle. This cow­ardly at­tack killed 5 mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces, a Canadian tourist and 4 gun­men. There were also 12 in­juries re­ported as a re­sult of this heinous act.

It took he­roes like Jor­da­nian law en­force­ment to pre­vent more harm, and it will take all of us, our com­mu­nity of travel and tourism pro­fes­sion­als, to take lead­er­ship and en­cour­age our clients and the pub­lic to con­sider trav­el­ling to amaz­ing places in­clud­ing Ber­lin, Jor­dan, Egypt, Is­tan­bul, Brus­sels, Nice, Paris, Kenya, Tu­nisia, and New York.

You may not see this in the head­lines, but ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble is be­ing done in th­ese great des­ti­na­tions and most other parts of the world to keep trav­ellers safe.

Ter­ror at­tacks make head­lines, but we should not for­get the pro­por­tion of crim­i­nal in­ci­dents a tourist could fall vic­tim to, com­pared to a bil­lion peo­ple trav­el­ling each year. The world, in­clud­ing those places that had been ran­domly hit by widely-pub­li­cized head­lines, are safe and will re­main safe.

In other places, crim­i­nal acts are be­com­ing rou­tine. Dozens are get­ting killed in Chicago ev­ery week by gun­shots, and yet tourism, meet­ings, and con­ven­tions in the Windy City are boom­ing.

Don’t let a hand­ful of fa­nat­ics and crim­i­nals al­ter our way of life. Travel and Tourism is a con­trib­u­tor to peace and un­der­stand­ing. Travel and Tourism trans­late to jobs and pros­per­ity for 10% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. This makes our in­dus­try one of the largest eco­nomic play­ers. Travel and Tourism must and will re­main re­silient.

In the Ber­lin in­ci­dent, tourists from all over the world, and lo­cal “Ber­lin­ers” alike, were en­joy­ing the Christ­mas Mar­ket next to the fa­mous Kaiser Wil­helm Memo­rial Church, when a truck ploughed into the mar­ket, in­jur­ing at least 48 peo­ple and killing 12 as a re­sult. Po­lice con­firmed in a press con­fer­ence to the Ger­man me­dia that the in­ci­dent was re­lated to ter­ror.

Ber­lin is a great city, and Ger­many will re­main a welcoming coun­try and a model for this trou­bled world. Is­lam is a peace­ful re­li­gion. The same counts for Chris­tian­ity, Ju­daism, Hin­duism, Bud­dhism. Not be­liev­ing in a par­tic­u­lar God, doesn’t mean be­liev­ing in do­ing harm.

How­ever, if you think hate and cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment and ran­domly killing chil­dren, tourists, and old peo­ple at­tend­ing a Christ­mas Mar­ket will get you to Heaven or Nir­vana or the like, you will be in for a ter­ri­ble re­al­ity. The re­al­ity is you are sim­ply a crim­i­nal, and dis­re­spect­ful of hu­man life.

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