A Top Class Trip [Archives:2001/48/Last Page]

November 26 2001


That is what German, Mr. Gerhard Tratz told me describing his two-week trip to Yemen last Friday during dinner at the genuine oriental Layali Tent of the Sheraton Sana’a Hotel.
Mr. Tratz was one in a 27-person tourist group from Germany, which is the first group of such a number to arrive in the Sheraton Hotel in Sana’a since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The trip was planned a long time ago. Some of the group members were motivated to visit Yemen by the country’s pavilion in the Hanover Expo 2000. “I spent more than four complete hours in Yemen’s pavilion in Hanover,” one of them said. “Yemen was really representative and the people in charge of the pavilion did a good job,” he added.
Having beautiful and enchanting ideas about Yemen before coming, what they saw in reality exceeded their expectations. Ms. D?rte Trotz said touring Yemen was a dream. “Yemen is the strange and unknown that we have been waiting to explore,” she added. “The friendliness and simplicity of the people were very touching,” said Werner Marx. Exploring Yemen was for them a sort of adventure. The colorful and sharp contrasts they came across were more than amazing and astounding.
Some members of the group were travel agents. For them, coming to Yemen was also a business. Warner Marx and Hans-Joachim were very much amazed by people’s welcome at being photographed. “One sometimes loves to capture different faces by his camera. Yemenis are always very willing to be photographed,” they said. The collected photos will be exhibited in Germany and will also be printed in many ways in an attempt to attract more German tourists to Yemen.
In their last night, listening to the marvelous and melodious voice of the Syrian singer, Osama Soliman, at the Sheraton Layali Tent, they all emphasized that Yemen still has many treasures to be unearthed. Yemeni beaches are nice and ideal for swimming, but they also need to be more attended. And last but not least, “The government and people should work together to keep their environment clean. People should not drop things on the ground.” They added Yemen should exert more effort to change the bad image of the country that the foreign media tries to portray.
Mr. René J. M. Schillings, Executive Assistant Manager, i/c Food and Beverage of the Sheraton Sana’a Hotel, said he was happy for Yemen that tourists are starting to flow in, despite effects resulting from the recent events in the world. The German group was very nicely attended, and on their last night they were offered the Layali Tent in order to experience the real taste of the Orient.
It is worth mentioning that the government of Germany issued negative travel advice against Yemen. Seeing how secure and peaceful Yemen is, the group said they would write a note to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to adjust the advice.
Hisham al-Qubati