The appointment of a religious tourism expert in the person of Mr. Tudor Stefan comes in recognition of the ever growing importance of faith based tourism and aims to highlight the positive contributions of pilgrimages and spiritual routes to sustainable and responsible tourism, as well as the contribution of tourism to cultural understanding and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage related to ancient trails and sacred places.
On the appointment of the new presidential adviser, H.E. President of ECTT- global tourism institution, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea noted that ”Asia and Africa are the most vital centers for religious and faith based tourism that will capture the attention of billions of travelers in the next decade and will have to respond to the challenge of sustainable and cultural oriented tourism and the nomination of our new adviser in the person of the reputed academic Mr. Tudor Stefan comes in response of our increased global role in the world of culture and tourism”
Mr. Tudor Stefan was presented to the diplomatic corps accredited to European Council on Tourism and Trade and in induction speech outlined that according to European Council on Tourism and Trade figures around 300 million tourists visit the world´s key religious sites every year, making spiritual tourism a significant part of both domestic and international tourism.
The event has brought together diplomats from a diverse range of countries including Argentina, Australia, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Paraguay, The Republic of Korea, Spain and Thailand, among others.
The participants agreed that Asia and Africa are encapsulating the most impressive development potential being capable in bringing more than 200 million tourists and billion in investments funds and cultural protection.
On the occasion of the start of preparations for WORLD TOURISM DAY 2019 the global tourism institutions: European Council on Tourism and Trade and European Tourism Academy had decided to select Djibouti City and Phnom Penh as models and hosts of World Tourism Day 2019 ceremonies in sign of recognition of these cities as centers of tourism development, repositories of priceless cultural artifacts and leaders in heritage protection.
The Autumn 2018 Meeting of European Council on Tourism and Trade and the official celebrations for WORLD TOURISM DAY 2018 had taken place at the headquarters of global tourism institution.
The events had taken place under the leadership of Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, European Council on Tourism and Trade President and a string of key decisions for tourism and culture future in 2019 had being taken.
The main issues debated where the selection of the 2019 host cities for World Tourism Day, and the announcement of official theme of the next year tourism celebration for European Tourism Academy and European Council on Tourism and Trade.
This theme will be instrumental also in the selection of new candidates for hosting world tourism awards ceremonies in 2019.
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Main world tourism and culture awards ceremonies slated for 2019:
Phnom Penh, the capital of Kingdom of Cambodia and Djibouti city, the capital of The Republic of Djibouti were selected as the official model cities for World Tourism Day celebrations and official hosts of global tourism events.
Both Djibouti and Phnom Penh where in previous years selected as World`s Capital of Culture and Tourism and globally recognized as centers of heritage, tourism and culture.
The city of Phnom Penh has also obtained WORLD`S BEST TOURIST DESTINATION status in 2016 and hosted the World Tourism Awards ceremonies the same year establishing himself as a powerful tourism and cultural center of Indochina.
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Phnom Penh-the new WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
Tourism must also be organized in such a manner to not impede conservation efforts, to support raising awareness on historical monuments and to help to acquire the financial support necessary for historical preservation activities.
Tourism and history are inseparable, are growing from the same tree: the sapling of culture and civilization.
History is the root of tourism development and tourism must feed and nurture historical preservation as leaves are feeding the tree said Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-global tourism president.
The next year celebration for World Tourism Day will take place in 27 September 2019, placing under the spotlight the culture and civilization as an integral part of tourism growth and role in the sustainable development goals agenda.
H.E. Prime Minister-Academician SAMDECH HUN SEN was elected as the only head of state to date to present to the world a concise and effective vision of completion of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
Attending the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, as the GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS and as the Head of the newly elected 6th mandate Royal Government of Cambodia, Prime Minister made a statement highlighting not only Cambodia`s role on upholding international peace and development but also his country global vision for the world in XXI century.
According to international experts Prime Minister HUN SEN speech was bold, energetic and creating a new page in the international relations and upholding the interest and the vision of small and medium countries and of non-aligned group of nations and also ASEAN vision for the world`s future.
H.E. Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia and GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, Academician HUN SEN has presented his lofty vision for his country, for United Nations and for the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
Attending the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, as the GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS and as the Head of the newly elected 6th mandate Royal Government of Cambodia, Prime Minister made a statement highlighting the new images of Cambodia with stable democratic process and remarkable socio-economic achievements following the attainment of full peace and stability which prevail all over the country.
He underlined the government’s continued commitment to enhance people’s well-being in line with the soon to be adopted “Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals.”
On international affairs, Prime Minister raised concerns about the threat of unilateralism that has undermined multilateral system, hindered global efforts to address SDGs, to tackle climate change and other common security challenges.
Prime Minister appealed for respect of the UN Charter and avoidance of domestic interference in the pretext of political rights protection. He raised specific case of Cambodia where some external circles, who have fed on ambition to interfere in the domestic affairs of Cambodia, still fail to see the quality and integrity of our election process by issuing statements against or attacking the election outcome.
Such actions are a serious assault on the will of the Cambodian people,” H.E. Prime Minister HUN SEN was elected as the only head of state to date to present to the world a concise and effective vision of completion of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
The full text of the allocution of THE GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS-ACADEMICIAN SAMDECH HUN SEN can be read out here:
My participation in this General Assembly is in the context that Cambodian Nation is enjoying the dividends of peace, stability and rapid development which had never been before in her modern history.
Cambodia is a successful case of a war-torn country which had succeeded in making a complete and prideful transformation.
Previously infamous for its killing fields, an unstable region caused by armed conflicts and dangerous mine disposals, an economically backward country mired in poverty and food insecurity, Cambodia now enjoys full peace, and has become a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia (the WORLD`S BEST TOURIST DESTINATION r.n); a food exporter; an outstanding performer in poverty reduction and improvement in social indicators. Cambodia is recognized as one of the world’s fast-growing economies, which recently has successfully graduated from its status as a low-income country to a lower-middle income country, owing to its high economic growth at around 7% per annum over the past two decades.
The photo journal of the GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS activity during UNITED NATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY can be observed here:
H.E. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General welcomes H.E. Prime Minister of Cambodia Samdech HUN SEN-the GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
Notably known for its armed struggle for the power and changes of government, Cambodia is now governed by the rule of law and firmly respects the multi-party liberal democracy, with regular, free and fair elections, held to enable its people to choose the country’s leadership.
Twenty registered political parties have competed in the election which clearly demonstrated a legitimate representation of pluralist politics and reflected what thousands of domestic and international observers described as a stable democratic process in Cambodia and as a free, fair, and credible election.
By their votes, Cambodians reaffirmed their desire for peace, stability and long-lasting sustainable development.
Indeed, the free choice of the Cambodian people and the legitimate result of this election is not a subject for question or debate.
Some external circles, who have fed on ambition to interfere in domestic affairs of Cambodia, still fail to see the quality and integrity of our election process by issuing statements against or attacking the election outcome.
Such actions are a serious assault on the will of the Cambodian people.
I would like to draw the attention of all UN members to the vitality of the United Nations Charter.
It depends on all of us to provide a proper respect for this crucial document by avoiding the interference, damaging, or disrupting sovereignty of an independent state.
We are heartedly regretful to highlight the fact that human rights nowadays have become “a mission to impose civilization” for some powerful nations or, perhaps, as their operating standards as the pretext for the interference under the name of political rights protection.
As a result, the imposition of unilateral sanctions has become a popular weapon of powerful nations in managing their international politics, which is completely driven by geopolitical agendas.
This is nothing but a use of the brutal force of a particular state to impose its will on other sovereignty states.
In a world, where the eras of imperialism and colonialism became the history, we have to acknowledge that not all nations in this General Assembly shall follow the governing model of any country.
Big countries should not attempt to install their administrative system on other small countries, because those small countries also possess sovereignty and legitimate aspiration to maintain their own identities. In the modern-days of interdependence, such an old style coercive mindset should be put to rest.
Together, both big and small countries, must respect one another and uphold the rules of the international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
Currently, the world is facing severe instabilities while the threats to peace are coming in many forms, more than what we have witnessed in the past 25 years.
We are all living in a world faced with fragility, unpredictability, complicated changes, as the challenges are coming from various fronts, including the increase in persistent conflicts and unprecedented humanitarian crises.
We are deeply concerned by the tensions made by a first world class superpower in the diplomatic circle and by the conflicts happening in many places thank to the interference by this superpower.
We are also deeply concerned by the rush decisions made by this superpower to urgently withdraw from major international agreements that threaten the core legitimacy of international legal order.
This unilateral actions have undermined the state-to-state relationships and caused tension in the international community.
Yet, what puts the most pressure is direct attack on multilateralism.
Undoubtedly, in our globalized world, all things are connected. if we begin to adhere to the protectionist policy, unilateralism and trade war, we are closing the door by not welcoming any trade and investment opportunities which have provided prosperity to our countries, both small and big ones, for many decades.
Eventually, we all are poorer; our economies will decline; financial capital will shrink and the ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as, addressing the challenges caused by climate change would be seriously affected.
Those factors will make poor countries suffer prolonged poverty, and thus we are more vulnerable to the dangerous ideology of terrorism, extremism, and regional conflicts.
Cambodia, as a small economy, believes in the interests of the rule-based international cooperation. As a matter of fact, we all have been prospering because of the globalization.
We all are thus convinced that the global trade should not be hindered by the imposition of unilateral tariffs; yet it should be enhanced and supported through the adherence to conductive policies for trade and investment, as well as, the provision of special preferential treatment to developing countries.
Stability and diversification in the financial sector need to be further encouraged to promote innovation and development.
All in all, we need to jointly maintain and strengthen ‘’multilateralism”.
In fact, peace without development is not sustainable. In this context, “Sustainable Development Goals” of the United Nations play a pivotal role in guiding toward prosperity for the people. Cambodia views the SDGs as an important opportunity to mobilize efforts in achieving poverty reduction, as well as, sustainable and inclusive development.
The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) soon will approve “Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs)” which has been fully localized, and we will use those goals to shape our medium and long-term policies and plans for Cambodia.
Moreover, the conflict prevention is precondition for a long-lasting peace. The UN peacekeeping forces play a vital leading role in these efforts. As a result, Cambodia greatly welcomes the vision of H.E. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, on peace-building and peace-keeping, particularly further paying continued attention to the conflict prevention.
Cambodia is a consistent supporter of the architecture of peace and security of the United Nations.
For instance, for the last 12 years, Cambodia has sent thousands of Blue Helmet forces to join peace-keeping missions under the umbrella of the United Nations.
However, peace-keeping is facing unprecedented challenges since the non-state actors have waged rebellion wars against our peace-keeping forces, which have caused many lives and disabilities.
We are sincerely indebted to the sacrifice of the UN peace-keeping heroes. Nonetheless, their death and sacrifice have not distorted our commitment to further contributing to the cause of this great mission.
Another severe and complicated threat which is the barriers to the long-lasting peace is terrorism.
They have disintegrated communities, worsened the conflicts and weakened the stability of the whole region. Currently, the battles against terrorism have become even more complex and modernized since the terrorists are turning to the cyberspace for their malevolent operation.
Profoundly, the cross-border nature of terrorism requires us to build a multilateral cooperation with concerted coordination, including “countermeasures” and “preventive measures”.
Addressing climate change is another key element for the success of the 2030 Agenda, which requires urgent and focused attention from the global community.
The fundamentals for action on climate change are undoubtedly rested upon the Paris Agreement.
In this spirit, Cambodia will provide full support to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to organize the Climate Summit next year to foster the inspiration to further address climate change.
Finally, I would like to emphasize that Cambodia fully support the UN’s global leadership, and commits to implementing our shared responsibility to build a peaceful and equitable human society who enjoys sustainable and inclusive development.
Phnom Penh the recently nominated WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM is known on the world as the Gem of Asia, The city of waters and the capital of The Kingdom of Wonders: Cambodia, all are rightly deserved appellative`s and as academician Mircea Constantinescu pointed out of WORLD TOURISM AWARDS CEREMONY:
Independence Square and Monument: the heart of PHNOM PENH.
It is a city that it embraces with warmth and gentle attention the soul of the travelers and it’s the real gate to Asia and the unique gem that shines over us with the light of culture and distinction. I also take this moment to congratulate the Ministry of tourism on the initiative to create a special walking riverine prospect offering for tourists the opportunity to stroll around the banks of the famous Mekong.
PHNOM PENH is such a generous area: encompassing the natural setting provided by the confluence of three rivers: the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap, the world unique river that is flowing upwards the stream for six months a year.
This perfect natural landscape has becoming the setting of a rich cultural city that encompasses religious monuments and heritage treasures like: Wat Ounalom, the 1443 shrine build for a sacred hair of the Buddha and considered the seat of Cambodian Buddhism who will celebrate 575 of continuously and interrupted religious activities.
Another landmark is the famous Wat Phnom, built in 1372 and restored or reconstructed in 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926 and has become a symbol of the capital city Phnom Penh and regularly used for prayer, small offerings, and meditation.
It is a specially charged place connected with the legendary figure of grandmother Penh and from 15th century King Ponhea Yat built the capital in Phnom Penh around this sacred mountain used for keeping the cremated ash of the King.
The mountain of Wat Phnom has been transformed in the last 700 years in a place that is uniting Buddhist statues of the Angkorean era with art crafts from the medieval and modern area and also a royal necropolis hosting the stupas for keeping cremated ash of the Royal families.
Other religious places and cultural landmarks are Wat Langka who is reputedly one of Phnom Penh’s five original Wats (1422).
Established as a sanctuary for the Holy Writings and a meeting place for Cambodian and Sri Lankan monks, the Wat was named in honor of these meetings.
Wat Botum Padei also one of the oldest religious buildings still in use in the city from 1422 and is compound is crowded with ornate and colorful stupas, including the towering ‘Buddha’s Relic Stupa.
Wat Koh another one of the city’s five original Wats, established in the early 15th century and Wat Neak Kravorn situated in a perfect picturesque skyline of Boeung Kak lake.
PHNOM PENH is not only the seat of rich cultural and religious objectives but is also presenting a long list of tourism centers from the famed Russian Market, Old Market, Central Market, Night Market and a large array of traditional markets, to the incredible riches of National Museum having on display more than 5,000 works of art, ranging from the 7th to the 13th century.
Treasures include sculptures, 19th-century dance costumes, royal barges and palanquins.
We have to note also in the panorama of the incredible cultural potential of Phnom Penh the fact that: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CAMBODIA was voted as a WORLD`S FAVORITE MUSEUM for the incredible treasures encompassing more than 14.00 priceless artifacts and for the perfect ways that are displayed and imbuing the visitors with the message of culture.
Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is a must see for any Asian traveler as it is the symbol of the imperial power of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the residence of the royal family.
In Khmer language, the full name of Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is Preah Barom Reachea Vaeng Chaktomuk. The modern Royal Palace was designed by a famous French engineer, dating back to the end of the 19th century.
The resplendent and magnificent Royal Palace is the typical Cambodia building, situated in the east of Phnom Penh and facing the confluence of Mekong River and Tonle Sap River.
It is a magnificent building with golden roof and yellow walls surrounding it, consisting of over 20 palaces of various sizes, such as the golden palace, the silver palace and the treasure palace with exquisite reliefs on the winding corridors.
The treasure palace is inside the golden palace, displaying precious treasures.
Among all the buildings in the palace, the silver palace is the most gorgeous one, whose ground is paved with over 4,700 silver bricks.
In the palace, there is also a natural jade Buddha statue with the height of about 60 centimeters, regarding as the national treasure of Cambodia. It is also the holy land for the Buddhist devotions of the successive kings.
Phnom Penh is far from being just a huge open-air repository of temples, stupas, palaces and incredible museums it is also a place where the energy of his peoples is channeled into huge celebrations like Moon Festival, Water Festival, Royal Ploughing Day, Khmer New Year or famed Buddha Day-Visakh Bochea Day.
MEKONG ISLAND (KOH DACH)
If you wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh and venture into a world of peace and tranquility, then a visit to Mekong Island about 15km north of the city centre will be just right for you.
Bounded by views of rice paddies, vegetable farms and fruit orchards, Mekong Island not only serves as a venue for an enjoyable day trip or picnic but also enables you to experience the country’s authentic culture at its best.
This island occupies an area of about ten hectares of land and is one of the prominent centers of traditional handicrafts in Cambodia, with artisans engaged in silk weaving, pottery, woodcarving and dyeing in its villages.
Phnom Penh is waiting the travelers, tourists and all those who want to experience the true charm of Asia and the magic of a World Capital of Culture and Tourism with the open doors.
Come and discover the magic of Mekong, come and find your true city of love: Phnom Penh!
The Kingdom of Cambodia is taken a central stage in promoting ecotourism as a source of sustainable tourism and development and rapidly becoming a world model in this regard.
On November 7, 2017, Cambodia`s Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the establishment of a new inter-ministerial task force that will work to develop and manage community-based ecotourism locations in a bid to find sustainable ways to draw tourists to destinations across the Kingdom.
Academician HUN SEN, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo, Prime Minister of Cambodia has transformed his country in a world development center.
Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon will be the president of the new task force, while Minister of Environment, Say Sam Al and Minister of Agriculture, Veng Sokhon will act as deputy presidents.
Sokhon said that the task force was formed to ensure that the relevant ministries work together in developing community-based ecotourism locations while allowing them also evaluate each other’s performance to achieve effective results.
“The new task force will promote ecotourism and we will select potential communities to help promote the incomes for people living there,” he said, adding that the government has already defined 516 fishing communities, 477 freshwater communities and 540 forest communities that could get ecotourism status.
“We will work together as a team to select the potential communities and help develop the infrastructure needed in order for tourists to access them,” he said. “We also want to help promote awareness in these communities on how they can provide quality services to tourists while teaching them how to manage their finances.”
Minister of Tourism of Cambodia: THONG KHON will be en-charged in the new push for ecotourism.
Ambassador Tiberius Puiu, from world tourism institution of European Council on Tourism and Trade, offered lauds to the decision which is describing as a moment that is placing Cambodia at the front line of sustainable, no-polluting tourism development and it is another wise and far-reaching decision that will foster the country as a world model and as the most interesting destination in Asia.
Say Sam Al – Minister of Ministry of Environment of Cambodia.
He added that the task force was already looking at identifying communities in the provinces of Koh Kong, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri.
Next year date for WORLD TOURISM DAY celebration was decided to be September 27 2018 and the official theme will be TOURISM AND CULTURAL PROTECTION! These where the executive decisions taken by European Council on Tourism and Trade leadership on the Word Tourism Day celebrations.
Celebrated worldwide since 1980, World Tourism Day at European Council on Tourism and Trade is commemorated usually at the end of September each year and hosted in the capital of the country crowned as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION OF THE YEAR.
This year, the Official Celebrations are held in Phnom Penh , the capital city of Kingdom of Cambodia, winner of World Best Tourism Destination designation and in Bucharest on October 4, 2017 under the Chairmanship of European Council on Tourism and Trade.
The main role of the World Tourism Day is to highlight the global significance of tourism as a tool for global development and cultural enlightenment.
Tourism is the greatest educator in the world, stated on the topic the European Council on Tourism and Trade President Dr. Anton Caragea.
This is one of the goals of the World Tourism Day celebrations that are being conducted throughout the world.
President of European Council on Tourism and Trade, H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea signs the ECTT- WORLD TOURISM DAY 2018 logo and document: TOURISM AND CULTURAL PROTECTION!
The Official Celebrations taking place in Phnom Penh, and marked as usually also at World Tourism Institute of European Council on Tourism and Trade center and garnering world tourism leaders, industry entrepreneurs and researchers, Global Ambassadors for Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals among other key actors in the sector.
The event was opened by the President of European Council on Tourism and Trade, H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, who emphasized the cultural and heritage booster and promoter role of Tourism and the links of the sector with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as the carry torch role of the Global Ambassadors for Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals in the global economic diversification and socially oriented growth.
On this occasion H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea – ECTT President announced that: Global Ambassadors for Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals project will continue unabated until 2030, the year marked by United Nations for the completion of the 17 Goals at world level.
In conjunction with European Tourism Academy, European Council on Tourism and Trade announced that 2018 World Tourism Day theme will be: TOURISM AS A CULTURAL PROTECTOR, emphasizing tourism role in promoting awareness for cultural and heritage patrimony , in boosting the resources allocated for their maintenance and preservation and in educating future generations on their role as guardian`s and custodians of these world treasures.
Academician Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia-Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo.
In the Kingdom of Cambodia, the official host of World Tourism Day for European Council on Tourism and Trade celebration, the premier’s message on World Tourism Day, Academician Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia said the tourism sector continues to contribute to Cambodia’s economy.
“In recognition of the contribution tourism has made, the government through the Tourism Ministry will continue to develop the tourism market, develop tourism products, and further promote new areas like youth tourism, urban tourism and shopping tourism,” said Mr Hun Sen.
“Currently, the tourism sector is the third biggest export industry in the world after the chemical and oil industries,” he added. “Tourism brings hope, prosperity and fosters people-to-people relations in the world.”
This year’s theme for World Tourism Day was “Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development”.
“Tourism can contribute to all the three crucial areas of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – and each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Academician Hun Sen.
“Not only does the sector contribute to economic growth, it also improves the quality of people’s lives. It can bolster environmental protection, champion diverse cultural heritage, and strengthen peace in the world,” added the premier.
The New York Times in a central editorial make`s the same point: What Impact Will Trump Have on Tourism?
The analysis result sounds cautious: new immigration procedures that make the customs and border process harder, the scrutiny of particular groups of people); and the perception of how welcoming and safe (or not) the United States is are growing to weigh heavily on the future of US tourism.
Donald Trump John promises that he will put his managerial skills in the benefit of world tourism.
Others cited in the article are right a way tenebrous: attendees at the World Travel Market London conference were coming up and “offering condolences.”( Gary Leff).
The list of worries on tourism faith under Donald Trump is long and wide spanning from: banning of minority groups, hostile policies towards Middle Eastern travellers, Cuban policy, US dollar strength in ratings, air fares tariffs, immigration policies and what role the Trump hotels will have in the great scheme of things.
Tourism is all about optimism and confidence and the new US President Donald Trump Jr. promised in his inaugural address that: hee will make US a World Best Tourist Destination country and a great country for all !