The Holy See
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Osaka (Japan)
Monday, 1 October 2001


I would like to renew the greetings that the Holy See sends to this important meeting of the World Tourism Organization, here in Osaka, which is being held immediately after the session in Seoul.

The topics which were touched on in the preceding Korean session, bring up once again the ethic values tightly linked to tourism and the evolution of the world market in this sector.

In this third millennium, which has already begun, the Holy See anxiously observes all the problems which involve mankind. For this reason, it insists on the necessity for a kind of tourism which places problems dealing with man, his ethical needs and needs for quality , at the center of attention.

Worldwide involvement in guaranteeing quality in the tourism sector is of fundamental importance, especially when dealing with respect of ethical standards.

Unfortunately a lot is still lacking in this field. Arrogance and private interest prevail over the interests of a general nature.

Each single State has been invited, more than once by the World Tourism Organization to develop a policy in this sector which would protect and at the same time, satisfy tourists in conformity to their sane aspirations.

The operative tourism environment has a transversal character. It deals in many different sectors, therefore, it must respond to the various needs of its clients. If the tourist’s desires are conform, they should be perceived, and if possible, satisfied.

We are assisting political and social variations in an international context.

We live in a geographic and demographic context which is in continuous expansion. It is dense with migratory flows which modify the occupational and social realities of various nations.

This human instability renders even the international tourism market changeable, which is inevitably influenced by Internet.

The market possibilities and the lobbies multiply. Many areas of tourism are insecure and lacking, in a structural point of view. Often they are potentially very rich, because endowed with numerous and differentiated naturalistic and monumental sites.

The tourism system must be able to get the best out of the possibilities offered by technology, in particular, computer science. This can and must become the big occasion for development, above all for the very poor and backwords tourism markets, where an increasing economy must be accompanied by the bettering of welfare of man.

Above all, it is important to pay particular attention to the defense of children, so as to avoid the harmful aspects of sexual tourism, which often leads to pedophilia.

It is also in this regard, that today the hope of those who wish for a new era of tourism is placed, where in respecting human rights, also the liberty of cult is present without which, it is difficult to hold a dialogue between different cultures.

Thank you for your attention!