Tourism, an Industry & an Economic Booster [Archives:2001/15/Business & Economy]

April 9 2001

Media can play a pivotal role in promoting tourism awareness among the people and motivate the private sector to have an active role within the tourist industry. The huge technological progress of telecommunications has provided us with a window of opportunities to unleash diversified media campaigns for the targeting of the tourist market. Through these campaigns we will help create Arab awareness by promoting the environmental tourism in Yemen and Arab lands.
Tourism has become an independent science very much associated with political science. It affects, and is affected by, social sciences including history, sociology and anthropology. This is due to the cultural and environmental differences among individuals within a society or through their different identities beyond regional borders. This necessitates the establishment of media as a means to promote awareness in this regard.
Specialists in media and tourism promotion view the swift spread of news agencies, press, TVs, Radios, as having led to the primary transformation in roles played by telecommunication means. This has consequently resulted in many social and cultural changes by enhancing the cultural contact among nations and civilizations.
Many specialists in the media and development field including Daniel Lerienz, David Raiz Man, Warao, Rogroz have emphasized that telecommunications give access to new ideas and approaches. It is certain that there will be some kind of impact on individuals as well as societies by whatever is transferred to them. They also highlighted that through these means, the people come to understand and are aware of the things happening outside their local communities. This is what we are looking for to achieve tourism awareness. So much so that the people look at any visitor as a positive economic resource backing up their income, and an important element for the cultural contact among nations.


Media Means Promote Tourism Awareness:
In order to enhance the media role in promoting tourism awareness among the Arab communities, there should be a media agenda of action based on correct scientific fundamentals. These programs should reach the people through interviews, and press reports to achieve the following:
1) Coordination with agencies working in the field of tourism in our country and other Arab countries to ensure an interesting stay for Arab and foreign tourists. This will benefit the national economy.
2) Promotion of environmental tourism on a continuous basis and overcoming any hurdles that may deface the reputation of our tourism industry.
3) Connect advertising campaigns of official institutions to those of tourism agencies to activate Arab-Arab tourism, and exert efforts to gain the confidence of tourism markets abroad.
4) Encouragement to the local and foreign private sectors to enhance their investment in the field of environmental tourism within the Arab countries.
5) Urging the public to protect and preserve elements of the environment.
6) Promotion of tourism awareness among our local communities to actively participate in the national and regional tourism activities by making the best use of them.
7) Collection and the analysis of tourism data and conveying it to our targets in the Arab world. Publishing ads about environmental tourism and propagating the abilities of Arab countries in this field locally and internationally.
8) Publication of the legislation and regulations regulating investment opportunities in the field of environmental tourism.
Medias can also promote the tourism awareness by pursuing the following activities:
* Sowing the seeds of change into the society, creating the a conducive atmosphere to improve regional environmental tourism through allocating TV and radio programs. Also by publishing reports and interviews about the tourism potentials, archeological heritage, and handicrafts in each Arab country in general, and in Yemen in particular.
* Focusing on objectives for promoting tourism in the content of media programs, getting the feedback of how many people are accepting these ideas, and to what extent they can interact to protect environmental tourism potentials in protected areas.
* Encouraging the national and regional ambitions of businessmen to establish joint investment tourist projects. This will make available thousands of job opportunities and benefit the investors as well.
* Imposing Arab and foreign tourists social standards, as they come to spend millions of dollars. This will enhance the state trade balance and improve conditions of those working in the field of tourism.
* Providing distinguished services for those working in the field of tourism by giving them access to modern scientific techniques. They should be given regular instructions to preserve the environmental tourism, and provide the people with information about archeological discoveries within the field of environmental tourism.
Thus, there is an essential link between media means and tourism awareness. The promotion which, if achieved, can lead to remarkable changes in the deplorable economic conditions and backward realities in Yemen.
Generally speaking, the media policy needed to promote tourism awareness should highlight, to citizens and Arab tourists, the importance of everyone’s national responsibility towards promoting tourism. This goes hand in hand with procedures and policies adopted by the authorities concerned.
To enhance the mechanism of joint regional cooperation in the field of environmental tourism and promoting Arab tourism awareness, there should be some strategies drawn out to conduct tourist campaigns taking into account the following:
1- These campaigns should be culture and education-based, indicating the features distinguishing each country for environmental tourism. Ways to publish these in other countries also need to be defined.
2- The campaign should be launched in diversified medias including the public relations bodies, tourism propaganda ads, posters, pictures, drawings, etc. Tourism exhibitions should also be held to imbue these ideas in the minds of people.
3- Launching the campaign in a way that matters with the social, cultural and economic conditions of each Arab society.
4- Studying the international tourism markets and their traveling trends to Arab countries.
To achieve the objectives of this campaign the following steps need to be considered:
— Giving facts that make the listener, viewer or reader feel the importance of the campaign and its direct impact on them.
— Defining the objective of the campaign and expenses necessary to carry it out.
— Studying the tourism market in the country where the campaign is conducted.
Thus, there should be a plan to conduct tourist marketing which will include the following:
* Realizing the desires of Arab tourists and reasons behind their preference to visit foreign countries.
* Studying countries with many outgoing tourists.
One thing to be stressed here is that media means in our Arab countries have similar features. However, the atmosphere of media and media tourism policy dominant in Arab countries have different features when compared to the content of environmental tourism campaigns and their policies in advanced countries.
These differences can be noted in the different media means, specifying its use and its technological development. The following aspects of medias to be studied:
* The kind of mass media means used by the Arab citizens and their prevalence.
* Assessment of the rate of citizens willing to deal with each means of media.
* Impact of poverty on people’s possessions, including tourists, on these means.
* The distribution according to the sex, age, education, culture, and population density.
* Understand the spread of news among each region of the country.
In a nutshell, we may say that medias can play an active role in the promotion of environmental tourism in our country and our Arab land. They can enhance the awareness of the society by providing the people with new techniques, imbuing the desire to change and make handsome revenues, boosting the regional national economy.