International tourism and cultural diplomacy: A new conceptual approach towards global mutual understanding and peace through tourism

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Peace is commonly considered as 'absence of war'. Nevertheless, peace - the so called 'positive peace' (Galtung, 1996) – implies a lot more than this. It implies the creation of a society based on social justice through equal opportunity, a fair distribution of power and resources, equal protection and impartial enforcement of law, and above all, mutual cultural understanding and respect. Thus, far from the pessimistic view of classical realists, which assume that the conflict is an intrinsic part of the human nature, we claim that peace is an architecture requiring firm, specific foundations such as a widespread education to peace and the promotion of intercultural dialogue. In this context, social scientists speculate on the causal relation between tourism and peace. In the present article we deepen this topic to propose more concrete arguments about the existence of a relationship between tourism and the construction of a positive peace. We thus offer a pioneering approach by proposing an association between international tourism and the practices of cultural diplomacy. We also analyse one of the most important conditions for this alliance to be created, that is, the implementation of cultural heritage management policies based on public participation and, at the same time, the promotion of intercultural dialogue (paideia approach to cultural heritage management). In this sense, we finally propose a definition for 'cultural heritage quality management'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalTourism : An International Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Cultural diplomacy
  • Cultural heritage management
  • Intercultural dialogue
  • Peace through tourism
  • Tourism

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