n 1986, Louis D'Amore, a former Marine
who also was decorated with an MBA from Wharton, sat down to write
an article about terrorism and its likely impact on the travel
The self-described futurist had left Deloitte & Touche to
start his own consulting firm, and the article he and researcher
Teresa Anuza ended up writing, "International Terrorism:
Implications and Challenge for Global Tourism," was accepted by
Business Quarterly, an academic journal of the School of Business
Administration at the University of Western Ontario.
The article defined the "new terrorism" as a general declaration
of war by Islamic fundamentalists against "what they describe as
the decadence and immorality of the West."
Its summation of recommended security measures has an eerily
contemporary ring: Increased vigilance, passenger profiling,
matching passengers with luggage and screening for explosives are
There is a chilling warning that "concern remains primarily with
suicide attacks, which would be almost impossible to stop. "
"The evidence suggests that we can expect more frequent and
bolder action in the future," they wrote.
The article highlights counterterrorism strategies, including
one that advocates that "Western society's most effective response
to terrorism is swift and decisive military retaliation" that "must
be applied to states sponsoring terrorists in addition to the
Interestingly, the final recommendations for curbing future
terrorism skew significantly from military responses and security
It was the authors' belief that the terrorism seen in the
mid-80s -- the spate of airplane bombings, hijackings and airport
attacks -- was an "alert signal" for what was to come.
"The world is [now] more crowded and less stable socially,
economically, politically and ecologically," the authors wrote.
"[Current] conditions create the fertile breeding grounds for
terrorists. It is no surprise that most terrorists are recruited
from refugee camps where young people have no home, no work and no
hope. For many young persons in these circumstances, the most
promising channel of improved social mobility is the local cell of
a terrorist organization."
The best deterrent against terrorism, the article concluded,
would be for the developed world to spend a fraction of the funds
earmarked for "security" to try to improve the lives of its
Not counting on governments to heed the warnings and take
action, the same year that the article was published, D'Amore
founded the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (www.iipt.org).
The group is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism
initiatives that contribute to international understanding and
cooperation. He saw the travel industry, the largest in the world,
as a means to defuse international tensions.
Today, IIPT's corporate partners include American Express, Six
Continents Hotels and B-there.com. Organizations in its membership
include the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the European Travel
Commission, Skal International and the Society of Incentive Travel
Executives. (In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted
that Travel Weekly is a media sponsor of the organization.)
IIPT seeks to facilitate tourism projects that revitalize local
economies; bring together like-minded politicians, academics and
travel industry leaders for summits; and support programs that
encourage travelers to get involved with local people and their
D'Amore's prescient article didn't stop the tragedy of Sept. 11.
And, despite the existence of IIPT, there likely will be other
terrorist incidents involving the travel industry. But there's no
doubt in my mind that D'Amore picked the right industry to use as
his instrument. Travel is the straightest road to cross-cultural
understanding, and cross-cultural understanding is the best hope
for lasting peace.
IIPT is holding a Peace Through Tourism Conference March 3
to 7 in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.