Juergen T. Steinmetz, chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partner issued the following statement:
“Yesterday we were all Jordanians, today we’re all Berliners.”
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 involved in yesterday’s criminal attack in Jordan, and today in Berlin. Both incidents were senseless acts by disguised criminals aimed to disable the world’s largest industry: Travel and Tourism.
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 traveling 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 travelers 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 traveling 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.
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.
President Kennedy once said: “We are all Berliners!” And this becomes a true statement once again today.
The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots Travel & Tourism coalition of destinations and stakeholders.
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For more information on ICTP and how to join members in 131 countries without any cost, please visit ictp.travel