Pope to Youth Tourism Centre: Thank you for promoting tourism not based on consumerism
Pope Francis had a meeting with the members of the Italian Youth Tourism Centre in the Paul VI Audience Hall.
“On April 23, 150 young people traveled by train to Geneva. This gave rise to the idea of creating a national work dedicated to tourism within the Italian youth of Catholic Action.”
Since then, this Italian association has promoted a form of sustainable tourism among young people. It involves getting young tourists engaged with the place and residents being visited. Pope Francis praised this type of work.
“Ultimately through this association, you promote tourism. It is tourism, not inspired by consumerism, or wishing only to accumulate experiences. It is, instead, focused on promoting the encounter between people and places. It is to increase awareness and mutual respect.”
The pope recognized the association's work in establishing friendship among young people through tourism. He thanked them for these activities, saying many young people can recover their lost motivation.
“Precisely in the light of your spirituality through the Youth Tourism Centre, you can become traveling companions with many of your contemporaries. You can help others recover the enthusiasm that they no longer see. This is because it is buried among the rubble of disenchantment or the dust of bad examples.”
Finally, Pope Francis asked the members of this organization to be authentic Catholics. This is to be people who are open to the world and encountering others.