001_G19_Forethought

Global

Forethought GLOBAL THE INTERNATIONAL BRIEFING ISSUE 19 FOURTH QUARTER 2014 Roll up! Get your WWI souvenirs here The centenary of World War I has been marked around the world. The huge numbers of dead; the involvement of so many countries; touching stories of individuals caught up in the hostilities – the Great War has left a sobering legacy. It’s also good for business. Two million visitors are expected to visit sites in Belgium associated with the war over the next four years. That will represent a 50 per cent increase on the numbers of people going to Flanders Fields in a normal four-year period. Not only are there museums and tours of the trenches, there are also gift shops, with associated merchandising ranging from the tasteful to the tacky, with retailers selling all manner of trinkets with poppies on them – and even chocolate helmets. But the majority of so-called ‘confl ict tourism’ is both respectful and educational. It also helps to preserve sites of historic interest that might otherwise be bulldozed and turned into housing or shopping centres. The former KGB headquarters in Riga, Latvia have proved to be a headache to town planners who found developers were not keen to buy it – thousands of Latvians were imprisoned within its walls during the Soviet era. Some were tortured and executed. The building has temporarily been turned into a museum for Riga’s stint as the European Capital of Culture, with visitors including former prisoners and former guards. Russian tourists have found it particularly illuminating, with some learning about the atrocities for the fi rst time. A number of locals believe it should be turned into a permanent museum so that the brutality of the Soviet years is never forgotten. For an insight into more recent hostilities, visitors can take a Bombs and Bullets tour of Belfast with a local taxi driver. While this may sound like sensitivity has gone out of the window, you would be hard pushed to fi nd a taxi driver on either side of the religious divide whose family had not suffered as a result the international briefing FOURTH QUARTER 2014 WWW.GLOBAL-BRIEFING.ORG £6.50 Holiday hotspots Attracting tourists back to former con ict zones e hunger games Tackling food security COUNTRY REPORTS BOTSWANA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, MALTA G19_Cover.indd 1 09/09/2014 17:59 of the Troubles. Many outsiders fi nd the politics and history of Northern Ireland confusing, so taking a tour of the city with a well-informed taxi driver is as good a way to gain a better understanding as any. Not that Europe has a monopoly in confl ict tourism. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan always features in lists of ‘top ten places to see’ in the country. Built close to the site where the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, the Memorial Park in which the memorial is sited also houses other monuments, museums and lecture halls related to the bombing. The park draws a million visitors each year. Planned properly, the return of foreign holidaymakers after a period of confl ict can play an important part in a country’s economic reconstruction. Mozambique and Angola are both trying to tempt tourists back to their shores (see pages 18-19) after years of civil war saw both countries’ tourist industry more or less dry up. Sri Lanka is in a similar situation – after 25 years of civil war, the island is now getting around a million tourists a year. Most are drawn to the plethora of Buddhist heritage sites, stunning landscapes and wildlife, but some domestic tourists also want to pay their respects to those who fell, by visiting sites associated with the fi ghting. But for the ultimate confl ict tourism experience, why wait until the hostilities have stopped? During the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 in the American Civil War, the wealthy elite of Washington DC – including congressmen – took their families to a vantage point close to the battlefi eld to enjoy a picnic and watch the fi ghting. This type of entertainment does have its risks, though. When the Union Army was driven back further than anticipated, panicked spectators were forced to fl ee, scattering cucumber sandwiches and strawberries as they ran. Visiting the site of a battle already concluded is more likely to be covered by your travel insurance. global issue 19 www.global-brie ng.org Nexus Strategic Partnerships St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WS, UK Phone +44 1223 353 131 Fax +44 1223 353 130 Enquiries Editorial editorial@global-briefi ng.org Advertising advertising@global-briefi ng.org Subscriptions subscriptions@global-briefi ng.org Editorial Executive Editor Katie Silvester Email: k.silvester@global-briefi ng.org Consultant Editor Anver Versi Commissioning Editor Anne Wolf Email: a.wolf@global-briefi ng.org Features Editor Kate Bystrova Staff Writers Jade Fell, Kylie Field Design and Layout Henrik Williams Research Hannah Cochrane Web Nicky Whiting Publishing Publisher Smuts Beyers Sales and Marketing Director Simon Goodlad Client Liaison Yvonne Gertenbach, Michelle Brewer Distribution Alan Grant The views and opinions represented in this magazine are not necessarily those of the institutions to which they are affi liated, and should not be attributed to Nexus Strategic Partnerships or the Commonwealth Secretariat. While every effort has been taken in all cases to represent faithfully the views of contributors and interviewees, the publisher does not accept responsibility for errors, omissions or their consequences. Global aspires to bring Commonwealth values to bear in exploring the challenges facing the world: while it includes Commonwealth news, it is an editorially independent publication. ISSN 2042-3985 ©2015 Nexus Strategic Partnerships www.global global four th quar ter 2014 -br ief ing.org l 1


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