Vatican Promotes "Tourism Without Borders"

Idea Stems From Christian Charity

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 24, 2005 ( Tourism must be social, sustainable and solidaristic, says the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

Commenting on this year’s message for the World Day of Tourism, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto wrote in today’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano that tourism «must not be oriented only to those who have greater financial resources.»

It must be made possible for «an ever greater number of people, also from poor countries, to have access to means of transportation to enjoy a time of rest, as the Holy Father has said during his holiday in the Val d’Aosta,» said the archbishop.

This call to a «popular and financially sustainable» tourism stems from the Church’s option for charity, he said.

For all, of all

Archbishop Marchetto said that Christians should be committed to a tourism «not only for all, insofar as social,» but «of all, insofar as sustainable,» and «with all, because it is solidaristic and accessible.»

This tourism with a Christian perspective «will have to have valid elements of integral development so that it will be a tourism of development,» he stated.

«We know that the risk exists of a tourism with very negative consequences, both for nature as well as for nations and individuals,» he said.

«For this reason, when we propose a social tourism, we want to look in the first place to the common good both of those who receive the tourists as well as the tourists themselves, so that the dream will be gradually realized of a tourism without borders, which might contribute to create a better future for humanity,» wrote the archbishop.

The message for the World Day of Tourism, to be observed Sept. 27, was sent last week in Benedict XVI’s name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

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