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From a war zone to a tourist hotspot. How destinations transform themselves after conflict. This week on Leaders of Travel, I speak to the head of Belfast City Council.
This episode I’m going to be talking about destinations that have gone through a period of conflict but have then tried to attract tourists. If you look at history, there are some good examples – Vietnam or Cambodia, for instance. Or Rwanda or Uganda. And I’m sure we’ll see some in the Middle East in the decades to come.
It’s partly about improving the infrastructure after a war has finished – but also about trying to convince people that it’s safe to come back again. That’s probably the hardest bit.
To find out more about that, I’m going to be speaking this week with Suzanne Wylie, the CEO of Belfast City Council.
As I’m sure you know, Belfast suffered a lot during the conflict in Northern Ireland that stretched for about 30 years until a peace agreement in 1998. Officially, about 3,500 people were killed during that time… but, aside from the numbers, one of the worst things was this constant fear of an attack in the city.
When you then want to turn around after peace has been declared and tell the world it’s safe to visit, you might have a big job on your hands.
To find out how Belfast handled it so well, let’s ask Suzanne Wylie from the city council.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the episode and, as always, you can let me know what you think on social media or on the blog.
I’ll be back next time to find out what’s going on Downunder, and whether you should visit Melbourne on a trip to Australia.
Until then, my name is Michael Turtle from the travel blog Time Travel Turtle, and you’ve been listening to Leaders of Travel.