Middle East Sep 27, 2016
MUSCAT: Oman Tourism College plans to imbibe the spirit of this year’s World Tourism Day slogan—Tourism for All—as promoted by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation), in its academic programmes.
The institution, which is the Sultanate’s only tourism college, will launch the “Tourism for All Student Project” on September 27, which is observed as the World Tourism Day.
Accessible tourism for all is about creating environments that can cater to the needs of all sections of the society. Persons with disabilities families with small children, as also the ageing population and others, are all expected to benefit from universal accessibility to tourism.
As many as 100 students from the first and second semester of the BSc (Hons) and Diplomas in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Tourism Marketing, and Event Management will be working on specially designed projects in Destination Management and Tour Guiding.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Angelo Battaglia, head of the Department of Tourism and Management Studies, said: “The students are required to plan, organise and implement visits to different tourism destinations in Oman for different target groups that are often overlooked by the tourism industry. On prescheduled dates in October, November and December, the students will take four separate groups comprising two groups from orphanages, and a single group each made up of persons with disabilities and underprivileged youth to relevant tourism spots in Oman, which are chosen keeping in mind the groups’ needs.”
“We sincerely believe that this project that spans one semester will help raise awareness about the accessibility of tourism in Oman across different segments of society. At the same time, our students are requested to think like tourism professionals and demonstrate a deeper understanding of different tourist needs.”
Elaborating on the concept, Shakir Al Balushi, Tourism Management lecturer at the college, noted, “The projects will be a part of their formal assessment. Students have to be hands-on and work in an independent manner. They will receive guidance from a five-member faculty team. The process will help develop life-long learning skills and construct new ideas and concepts through an active process of engagement.”
The UNWTO theme encourages people across the world to experience the incredible diversity of our planet and the beauty of the world we live in. This year’s World Tourism Day will focus on highlighting the importance and immense benefits universal tourism accessibility has and can bring to society at large.
Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 to foster awareness among the international community about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. It seeks to highlight tourism’s potential to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the society.
Source: Times of Oman