Tourist production, great ambitions [Archives:2004/761/Business & Economy]

August 5 2004

The Arab Organisation for Tourism holds its first conference in Sana'a next September. The meting aims at invigorating situations of inter-Arab tourism, activation of the organization's role for the realization of Arab tourist integration, raising the ceiling of joint investment among tourist sectors as well as activation of movement of tourism among the Arab countries in order to raise and develop tourist services.
The meting acquires its significance from its being held under tourist circumstances requiring Arab joint action and investment of the wealth and constituents the Arab countries possess for improvement of tourism and investment in its various services sectors.
It is therefore imperative to emphasize the constituents and factors attracting tourism in Yemen as well as the various opportunities for investment in this regard and the facilities granted by the law in Yemen to Arab investors, with the aim of activate this field. The Tourist Promotion Council should not stop at talking about taking part in foreign tourist activities but rather intensify its work and to study feasibility of building multi use and- service tourist projects to be submitted to participants in the first meeting of the Arab Tourist Organisation and the committee on the private sector at the Council of Arab of Tourism Ministers for marketing them and putting them into actual investment.
The Yemeni tourist sector possesses all factors of strength for tourist attraction but is in need of translating words into studies of feasibility to be marketed, not only in the coning meting of the Arab Tourist Organisation but also in regional and international tourist markets and festivals. In consideration of official data on the Yemeni tourist situation one find that there are no feasibility studies for investment projects but rather the printing of 400 copies of tourist posters, maps and brochures on Yemen, all of which are costing and achieve little publicity to the Yemeni tourist product. Thus the flourishing of Yemeni tourist sector could not be achieved unless it is associated with feasibility study for tourist investment projects to offer high-quality services which would add financial value to the tourist heritage and tourist landmarks as well as the diversity available for Arab and foreigner tourists.
Added to the negative reflections and impact of the events taking place in the Arab region, plans for tourist promotion was supposed to attract at least 50 thousand tourists during the first half of this year. As for announcing about attraction of 7212 Arab and foreign tourists in six months of this year it is deemed a negative indicator for our ambitions and compared to the volume of the great Yemeni tourist constituents. It is to be stressed in this regard that the security situation is stable and encouraging for attracting various types of Arab and foreign tourists except for those coming from Israel. The main absent aspects are tourist services and weakness of tourist agencies activities at a time efforts of concerned authorities continued to concentrate on traditional activities of Sana'a Capital of Arab Culture, a matter that shrank the avail of tourist promotional activities as an industry and national product.
Our ambitions are to have the number of Arab and foreign tourists to Yemen to reach a number whose revenues could be regarded as a new addition to the national income, worth millions of dollars, to contribute to pour in the national revenues from a non-inflation source and then it could be talked of noticeable progress in the Yemeni tourist sector.