DIALOGUE IN EUROPE.
The integration of the European populations does not mean
degradation and massification, but the development of reciprocal
knowledge in respect of the different traditions present in
the old continent. The variousness of European societies has
caused a movement in which each country examines its own identity.
Today these societies are marked by profound technological
changes, by persistent economic uncertainties, by growing
ecological dangers. Rising unemployment, nationalisms and
fundamentalism regenerate, new xenophobia and at the same
time there is an aggravation in what we can call "ethical
In such shaky social circumstances, the new unions, formations
and the expansion of the European community appear complex.
New tools and decisive political will are needed in regaining
trust towards the possibility of carrying out the idea of
a true "European Home". In this frame of mind, tourism
can undoubtedly offer an effective contribution, as it favors
populations to become acquainted with each other, and it urges
talks towards a solid program of collaboration.
Today the industry of tourism is the only economic activity
still tied to territory. For this reason it can be used as
a privileged means for the re-discovery of historical and
social roots of any ethnic group. At the same time it contributes
to the rebuilding of social tissue often lacerated by local
disputes and the temptation of nationalistic isolation.
It is important to reconstruct that solid "network of
trust" that forms a social and moral capital to which
the European Union, especially in the optic of extending its
borderlines, must not give up. Tourism can activate a sense
of solidarity and cultural respect , which are the principal
strategic resources of sustainable development.
It is not enough to promote solely a concept of quality tied
to the realization of services and infrastructures in the
sector of tourism. This concept must be extended to the "quality
of human relations".
Tourism can carry out an important role under the social
aspect. I would like to add some important data regarding
Community statistics show that 5.5% of the PNL (National
Gross Production) in Europe is generated by tourism. Tourism
therefore reconfirms itself as one of the sectors with a high
employment level. In fact, there are approximately nine million
people employed in this sector.
On this subject, there are plenty of perspectives for a common
working ground in order to promote the tourism industry. However,
since the "European Home" is the spiritual and religious
value depositary, these values cannot and must not be put
out on the edge, and in light of history, they qualify as
pillars for peace and well-being of people.
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