Today we are all Malaysians: Statement by Chairman of ICTP

Jul 18, 2014

"The World travel and tourism industry must come together and take leadership after the Malaysia Airlines (MH17) incident." This is the opinion voiced by Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

He said today: "On behalf of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), our prayers are with the families of the victims of the terrible Malaysia Airlines shot down in the Ukraine. Our hope and commitment is to make this world a better place through responsible travel and tourism, an industry that cares about its earthly home and inhabitants. The world travel and tourism industry is strong, and must take leadership. Let us all be Malaysians today.”

He continued: "This crash is not the fault of the 298 victims on board this aircraft, not the fault of the management of Malaysia Airlines, and certainly not the fault of the Malaysian government. Malaysia Airlines remains one of the best airlines in the world with many devoted employees making a positive impact on the international airline industry.

"This could have happened to any airline flying over the region at the same time."

Steinmetz made this poignant statement about this horrific event:

"The Malaysia tourism slogan for many years has been ‘Malaysia is Asia.’ Today, I would go further and say, ‘Malaysia is the world.’ Today, we are all Malaysians and grieve for the lives that were lost and for the families that lost them."

Of course it’s a very bitter day for international travel and tourism and the international airline industry.

Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, Iran Air, Singapore Airlines, Thai International, Qantas, and many more international airlines could have had their state-of-the-art Boeing or Airbus shut down. Why it happened to Malaysia Airlines, and why it happened at all will be shown in time.

Today, the world grieves with the Malaysian people, and the families and friends of the victims on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

So many families and travelers on board this modern jet were enjoying one of the best onboard service available in modern aviation. Many were looking forward to a holiday on clean white sandy beaches in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, or Malaysia.

The flight crew was relaxed at 33,000 feet on this long stretch of a flight.

A large group of a 100+ were international experts on AIDS on a way to a conference in Australia, others were looking forward to going back home to Malaysia. A travel guide book on Bali found on the burning grounds in Ukraine tells just one of the stories.

The world today is filled with so many violent conflicts these days, and now in this time of Ramadan – a time that is set aside for peace for Muslims around the world.

Tourism is an industry of peace and understanding. It brings people together.

Let the 298 passengers and crew that were onboard MH17 not have died in vain. This is a time for the travel and tourism industry to come together and take the lead on an international platform.

The travel and tourism industry is strong and global. According to the UNWTO more than 1 billion people cross international borders every year.

Local conflicts are small compared to the amazing sites and the beautiful people you can find in any country or region of this big world.

Tourism and travel brings us together. And airlines are the catalyst that propels us to these memorable journeys. It doesn’t make any difference what your passport says.

Daylight is about to break in the Eastern Ukraine, and this will be the moment when the extent of this disaster will become more visible to the international media and investigators.

The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. ICTP engages communities and their stakeholders to share quality and green opportunities including tools and resources, access to funding, education, and marketing support.

ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, fair coherent taxation, and investments for jobs. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them.

For more information on ICTP, go to


Posted: 07/18/14