The need for better utilization of tourist sites [Archives:2004/730/Culture]

April 19 2004

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
Everyone knows that Yemen has enormous potential for tourism, and environment tourism in particular. Most of the places of interest are beautiful and filled with abundant historical sites and naturally captivating views. This compels us to visit and to get acquainted with them to revive internal tourism, especially if we take into consideration that this would contribute to motivating the economy and national investment.
What we currently notice is the flow of tourists in hundreds and thousands, especially from neighboring countries, who are welcomed in Yemen for enjoyment, recuperation and travel to several tourists regions. This gives us a feeling of bliss and optimism for the future development of this kind of tourism, which is developing from day to day. Official and public awareness exceeding expectations is an indication of the sense of national responsibility that the investing sectors are carrying out at more than one tourist location. What the private sector is conducting is serious investment work, represented by investment projects in regions filled with tourism sites, which are regularly visited by sightseeing lovers. This does not count the locations situated on coasts, islands, desert edges and historic cities, places rarely found in other Arab and foreign countries.
In order to keep these places in an attractive state, continued investment must be exerted in this aspect. Moreover, it is important to support the environment and tourism related authorities and the General Investment Authority in utilizing the other remaining places, which are still virgin and untouched. There are many fascinating places surrounding our major cities, such as in the suburbs of Sana'a city. We hope that all related and concerned bodies would seriously engage in thorough planning and implementation in the form of public parks, considering most of them are naturally set and only require little attention, such as installing leisure and recreational sports equipment and some additional trees.
There is a place situated in the outskirts of Sana'a city, “Wadi Dahur”, regularly visited by residents of Sana'a, could be better utilized for tourism purposes. It is only about ten kilometers from Sana'a city and it has become a regular destination for those celebrating weddings and a place to spend the weekends by locals, nationals and foreigners alike. Some of them enjoy getting closely acquainted with the Rock Palace located in the center of the valley. There are also similar places to that on western side of Sana'a, Asser and Sana village, and Wadi Hamul to the south, all of which could be utilized to attract local and foreign tourists. However, they need to be invested in by either the local councils, the Sana'a Secretariat or by the private sector instead of neglecting these places, which could turn in fortunes.