International Tourism Congress begins at SQU

MUSCAT — Sultan Qaboos University and the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal, was held on Tuesday under the patronage of Maitha bint Saif al Mahrouqi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism.


This conference hosts 95 researchers from 23 countries, presenting 100 papers. The conference covers seven themes: tourism marketing and destination image; tourism development and sustainability; tourism economics and management; tourism education and training; innovation and new trends in tourism.


Accordingly, the conference offers a worldwide forum for attendees from academia, industry, government, and other organisations to actively exchange ideas, share knowledge, and challenge state-of-the-art research and case studies on tourism and hospitality.

This event is the result of continuous and productive collaboration between the Department of Tourism, and the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal. The conference will run from 2nd to 4th of December.

Speaking on behalf of the Steering Committee of the event, Dr Galal Afifi, Head of the Department of Tourism of the College of Arts & Social Sciences at SQU, said that tourism is received as one of the most promising sectors in the Sultanate of Oman, as it is believed to help facilitate economic diversification, preserve cultural integrity and protect the environment of Oman.

“This belief draws a noteworthy attention to this sector, which has resulted in a significant progress in the Omani tourism sector in recent years. This has also reflected positively on the tourism department at SQU, which has been the first Tourism Department in the Middle East to be accredited from the UNWTO. Such Achievement would not have taken place without the sincere work of the university and the College of Arts and Social Sciences towards academic excellence. The Department is honoured as well to be the first to host the International Tourism Congress outside the European Union”, he said.

167847Dr Paulo Almeida, Dean, School of Tourism & Maritime Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal hoped that this conference  will address a wide range of issues related to tourism and will pave way for long term partnership between SQU and his own institution.

Prof Jafar Jafari, University of Wisconsin-Stout, USA, gave the first keynote address on the topic “A nice place to live is a nice place to visit: tourism and community development” in which he spoke about  the importance of scientification, research, education and trained workforce to fuel community based tourism.

“Natural, sociocultural and local resources should be blended in such a way to reflect the host community will cherish sustainable tourism. The concept of tourism is not valid if it does nothing to improve the quality of life of the local people”, he said.

Prof Jafari also stressed on the importance of proper education and training in hospitality and tourism industry. Prof Eduardo Fayos-Solà, President of the Ulysses Foundation, Spain, gave the second keynote address on “The future of tourism destinations: progress and development on a less travelled road”.

Prof Maged Negm, Vice-president, Helwan University, Egypt, gave the third keynote address on “Heritage tourism: a new approach”. The fourth keynote speaker, Prof. João Paulo Jorge from the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal, spoke about  “Coastal tourism: trends, threats and opportunities”.


Published 09/12/2014 (17h49)