Tourism: No Holiday From Ethics

Holy See Publishes a Message for a World Day

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The flourishing field of tourism has "ethical needs" that must not be overlooked, says the Holy See.



The reminder was expressed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, in a message sent in Benedict XVI's name for the next World Day of Tourism, to be observed Sept. 27.

The theme chosen for the occasion by the World Tourism Organization, and commented on in the papal message, is "Travel and Transport: From the Imaginary World of Jules Verne to the Reality of the 21st Century."

Cardinal Sodano's message recalls the centenary of the death of the French author who, with his works, launched "a challenge to human responsibility to face limits that could no longer be concealed."

In the message, sent to Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, the Holy See calls for the opening of tourism "to everyone."

"New and unexplored opportunities for travel with ever more modern and faster means can make tourism a providential occasion to share the goods of the earth and of culture," the message said.

Peaceful encounters

Recalling Verne's novels, Cardinal Sodano said that "the dream of a tourism without limits is being realized, which might contribute to create a better future for humanity."

"However, it is necessary to bear in mind the ethical needs associated with tourism," he wrote. Consequently, the message calls upon "politicians and lawmakers, and men of government and finance … to favor the peaceful encounter of peoples, guaranteeing security and ease of communication."

The cardinal says that all who work in tourism are called to "realize structures that will make it healthy, popular, and economically sustainable."

It notes that "in all activities, and hence also in tourism, the primary goal must always remain respect for the human being, in the context of the search for the common good."

The message concludes by reminding all tourists to respect the "individual, cultural and religious" diversity of the peoples they visit, and to be open to dialogue and understanding and, "by their behavior, to transmit sentiments of respect, solidarity and peace."