Meet the World! – Eco-tourism and responsible travelers – A student exhibition held at GUtech

HALBAN To learn more about managing tourist destinations worldwide, students from the Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management at GUtech have conducted a public exhibition entitled “Meet The World!” yesterday afternoon. The students from the second and third year of International Business and Service Management studied ‘International Destination Management” this semester. They presented different destinations such as Germany, Spain, France, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Morocco while relating them to current trends and issues in destination management including brand management, crisis management, and sustainable tourism development in destinations.

Noor Al Hassani, Alya Al Riyami and Omar Al Harthy presented tourism in France on a poster along with serving some French food. France is one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. As for the brand management, the students identified different images such as heritage tourism, wine tourism, adventure tourism, slow tourism and event tourism. “In 2018 around 82 million tourists visited the country. France is famous for its ecotourism and luxury tourism. I have visited France with my family a few years ago. I enjoyed the overall atmosphere in Paris. We visited the Louvre, the Champs Elysees and the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. We also did a boat tour along the river Seine,” said Omar Al Harthy. He mentioned that especially ‘greener modes of transportation’ that produce less pollution could be promoted as well in Oman. He also liked the idea of introducing car sharing or public bicycle sharing. In their analysis of the tourist destination, the students mentioned an increase in eco-responsible accommodation projects which create awareness about the responsible use of energy and recycling.

Another group of students, Ahood Al Balushi, Maryam Al Ruzaiqi and Fatma Alwadhahi presented the destination Spain on a poster and through home-made Spanish sweets. In their small research project the students realized many similarities between Spain and the Sultanate of Oman. For example, Spain is facing increasing desertification and on the other hand the country is trying to attract tourists who are respectful and aware of environmental challenges facing destinations worldwide. “Tourism in Spain is becoming more sustainable. The sector is implementing measures to reduce energy, waste and overall more care for the environment. There is a growing interest in a “0 kilometer gastronomy” with locally produced ingredients,” said Ahood Al Balushi. The students also liked the idea of ecotourism, being implemented in different National Parks such as the Sierra Nevada National Park, which offers adventure and sports tourism. “I like the idea of implementing a crowd control system through prior online booking. This could help avoid congestions in museums or at popular heritage sites,” said Fatma Alwadhani.

(c) GUtech/ Photo & Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

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