Participants of a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference on Tourism, a catalyst for development, peace and reconciliation reiterated the importance of placing tourism at the heart of the peace and reconciliation

agenda in order to ensure that the sector remains a catalyst of development and social inclusion.

The conference focussed on four main topics, including the contribution of the industry's growth to peace, local community involvement and peace sensitive tourism, public/private partnerships and marketing in post-conflict destinations.

"We face a deficit of tolerance.

Tourism brings people together; it opens our minds and hearts.

Yet to gain peace we need to give people opportunities for a better future; we need to create jobs and bring them hope," said Taleb Rifai, secretary general, UNWTO.