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Monday, October 18, 1999 Published at 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK


UK: Scotland

Parades 'fun affairs' - Trimble

Mr Trimble says parades are large "folk festivals"

Northern Ireland's First Minister David Trimble has said that controversial parades in the province could become tourist attractions.

Speaking in Glasgow, Mr Trimble said the parades, which have been blighted by violence were - at heart - fun, family affairs.


David Calder reports: "Conference heard conflict was coming to an end"
"In recent years we have had quite a few disputes over parades which have generated a negative impact out of proportion with their real importance, but these too are on their way to be solved," said Mr Trimble at the International Institute for Peace through Tourism Conference.

"This year there was very little trouble amongst the thousands of parades that took place and what problems there were were not helped by some decisions of the Parades Commission.

'Folk festivals'

"My hope would be long term that these parades would, themselves, become a tourist attraction rather than something that detracts - they are, in fact, amongst the largest folk festivals in Western Europe."


[ image: David Trimble: Parades are
David Trimble: Parades are "fun"
Mr Trimble said the marches were colourful, lively family affairs accompanied by music and could stay in the mind long after they were over.

"For most people they are fun but at home, sadly, because of the divide in society they are perceived in different ways and I hope that this divergence will disappear as the wider conflict becomes a thing of the past."

The conference involving United Nations leaders and world tourism figures is discussing how world tourism is affecting the global environment.

At the heart of the agenda are discussions about how to balance the often conflicting needs of tourists and the need to preserve the communities they visit.

Well-travelled tourists

Conference delegates are exploring ways of meeting the demands of the well-travelled tourist and discover ways of ensuring the natural, historic and cultural resources of host countries are conserved for the future.


BBC Scotland's Carla Romano reports on the week-long conference
Its organisers hope the message of building sustainable tourism at the same time as protecting the world environment will get through to those in positions of power.

The conference is also hearing the more positive aspects of tourism including the valuable role it plays in creating jobs world-wide.

Among the speakers over the next few days are the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation, Francesco Frangialli and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, Doctor Klaus Toepfer.





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