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The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace – A Call From Tourism and Hospitality Academicians and Students

On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine and so began the largest assault on a European state since 1945.

Every day, the media reports more killings of civilians, including many of the most vulnerable children and old people [1, 2]. At the same time, the Russian people are being fed Kremlin propaganda [3]. 

On March 15 the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, a rare show of unity in the deeply divided Congress [4]. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top court of the United Nations, has ordered Russia to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Ukraine [5]. The United Nations General Assembly voted at an emergency session Wednesday, March 16, to demand an immediate halt to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine and the withdrawal of all Russian troops. The vote on the “Aggression against Ukraine” resolution was 141-5, with 35 abstentions [6].

Russia has launched airstrikes in western Ukraine, bringing the war close to the border with Poland, which is also a NATO border [7, 8]. And based on collective defence (Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty [9]), any mistake or provocation from Russia may lead to a serious threat of worldwide conflict.

Many countries are imposing sanctions on the Russian Federation and many companies themselves are withdrawing from the Russian market [10].

As noted by the UN World Tourism Organisation the ongoing military actions in Ukraine by the Russian Federation are contrary to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Article 3 of the Statutes of UNWTO [11], as well as to the values of tourism, as a potential pillar for peace and solidarity.

Accordingly, tourism academicians:

• voice support for the call from Colombia, Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine requesting the suspension of the membership of the Russian Federation from the UNWTO in accordance with Article 34 of the Statutes for conducting a policy, contrary to the fundamental aim of the Organization as enshrined in Article 3 of the Statutes of the UNWTO [12].

• call on the members of the World Travel and Tourism Council to suspend any business operations they have in the Russian Federation and to make the extent of their business operations in the country transparent to the travelling public.

• call on tourism-related academic departments and institutions to suspend all institutional relations with departments and institutions in the Russian Federation.

In order to fulfill the values of tourism as a force for peace, and to reinforce sanctions regimes we further encourage:

• all travel and tourism businesses to suspend their activities that enable tourist traffic to and from the Russian Federation.

• ask all tourists to not travel to the Russian Federation until such time as Russia has withdrawn from Ukraine and ceased its armed aggression in compliance with UN General Assembly Resolutions.

In conclusion, we invite representatives of the tourism and hospitality academy and students of tourism and related fields of study to sign this petition against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  If you support this initiative, please support our action by signing and by sharing:  

Let us make a #TourismForceForPeace until justice has been served.


Michal Apollo, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Global Justice Program, Yale University, USA; Academics Stand Against Poverty, USA

C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Oulu University, Finland; Linnaeus University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden; Taylor’s University, Malaysia; Co-editor, Current Issues in Tourism

Ian Wickens, On Tourism & Sustainability, UK

The petition was signed, among others, by:

Prof. Kathleen M. Adams, Loyola University Chicago and SOAS, University of London, USA

Prof. Wiesław Alejziak, University of Physical Education in Krakow, Poland

Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Bournemouth University Business School, UK

A/Prof. Mark Anthony Camilleri, University of Malta, Malta

Prof. Joseph M. Cheer, Wakayama University, Japan

Dr Stroma Cole, University of Westminster, UK

Prof. Carlos Costa, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Prof. Xavier Font, University of Surrey, UK

Prof. Lee Jolliffe, Ulster University, U.K

Prof. Myung Ja Kim, Kyung Hee University, South Korea

A/Prof. Ana María Munar, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Prof. Sanjay Nepal, University of Waterloo, Canada

A/Prof. Robin Nunkoo, University of Mauritius, Mauritius

Prof. Gyan Nyaupane, Arizona State University, USA

A/Prof. S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Prof. Christian M. Rogerson, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Prof. Jayne M. Rogerson, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Prof. Jarkko Saarinen, University of Oulu, Finland

Prof. Vishwambhar Prasad Sati, Mizoram University, India

A/Prof. Heike Schänzel, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Dr Philip Stone, University of Central Lancashire, UK

Prof. Dallen J. Timothy, Arizona State University, USA

Prof. Eugenia Wickens, Chair of OTS Academy & Editor in Chief of Journal on Tourism & Sustainability

A/Prof. Ian Yeoman, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Image Source: ITV News














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