Promote Mutual Understanding

As we travel, we are placing ourselves in situations that force us outside of our comfort zones. We are pushed to think in new ways, acknowledge other cultures and ways of thinking. This experience, living someone else’s way of life, alters our way of thinking. Whether or not we know this is happening or admit the fact, our thought processes are broadened. Why is this kind of experience important? Why do we need this?

Studies are increasingly showing a correlation between travel and peace. Countries that travel among each other are less likely to engage in aggression or warfare. This concept, “peace through tourism”, was introduced by Louis D’Amore. A lack of war is a result from “a state of tranquility within individuals, among people and nations, and between people and nature”.

The concept of “peace through tourism” isn’t a new category of tourism itself. It’s an idea that is meant to shift tourism from harmful practices to those that do not infringe on the place of travel. Peace through tourism can be from the result of ecotourism and the protection of other cultures. We can create the sense of “tranquility within individuals, among people and nations” through Ecotourism.

Atma strives to follow Article One of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Code of Ethics. Article One addresses tourism and mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies. Traveling in harmony with the laws, customs, and traditions of a region is important when facilitating a mutually respectful relationship. This relationship is not only founded on travelers respecting the locations that they travel to, but the locals respecting the foreigners entering their home country.

Becoming familiar with the region before traveling helps the transition between cultures. By beginning to understand the laws and cultures of a locations, it allows us to begin to think differently. This initiates the process of opening our minds to the new environment. While these locations practices at first may seem extremely different than your own, Atma strives to bring together different ways of thinking.