Former US President Bill Clinton declared travel and tourism "good for the earth and good for the future" yesterday.
Clinton told the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Summit in Abu Dhabi: "Travel and tourism not only enriches the lives of those who participate, it gives opportunities to find economically attractive ways to save the environment."
Addressing an audience of industry leaders, Clinton said: "I have a strong conviction that what you do is good for the earth, good for the children and good for the future. We should do what we can to enhance that."
However, the former President said: "There will be a lot less tourism if global warming leads to rising sea levels that bury island nations. You have a great stake in having a stable global environment."
Clinton told the WTTC: "Tourism is both a driver of positive change and an indicator of whether that positive change exists.
"The root of what you do matters. Expanding tourism can have a profoundly positive impact on whether the 21st century leads to more conflict or more co-operation."
He added: "I always thought that if every American had a passport and travelled to other countries we would have a better country and better leaders.
"Peace works better than conflict. As President, I used to tell the Palestinians and Israelis that Jerusalem could become the most visited place on earth if there was peace."
He argued: "We are different and our differences matter. But we can't escape each other. If we think the differences matter more than our common humanity we are in trouble."
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