Providing quality service to tourists without hindering their freedom and educating them about local customs and values were discussed at a workshop conducted by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recently.
The training workshop entitled “Preparing a model to establish and successfully operate a tourism security unit today,” was held in co-operation with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Ahmed Abdallah al-Nuaimi, chairman of QTA, delivered the opening address at the two-day workshop. Amr Abdel-Ghaffar, the UNWTO Regional Representative for the Middle East, also spoke.
Speakers and participants from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan and the UNWTO took part in the workshop.
Brigadier-General Thabet Kamal al-Naser, director of the Department for Planning and Organisation in the Jordanian Ministry of Interior, spoke on Jordan’s experience in the field of tourism security.
In his opening speech, al-Nuaimi said: “We have decided to join UNWTO in holding this training workshop as a point of convergence for all specialists in the field of tourism security from Qatar and the GCC countries. This workshop will facilitate the exchange of technical expertise on tourism security, while providing Qatar and its fellow GCC countries with the knowledge base for establishing their own sophisticated tourism security units - an important element in boosting tourism in our countries.”
The QTA chairman added: “In order to provide tourists with quality service, we must pursue our desired security objectives without causing visitors to feel that their movements or their personal freedoms, in consistence with our own customs and values, have been hindered or restricted in any way.”
The workshop is the part of the series of training plans that have been undertaken by the Qatar Tourism Authority in its quest for human resource development in the tourism sector.
Amr Abdel-Ghaffar said: “Our predictions for the year 2020 indicate that the Middle East in general and the Arab Gulf in particular – to the extent that it enjoys security and stability – will not only be part of the anticipated growth of international tourism, but that they will far exceed the average global tourism growth rate.
“As such, we must provide reassurance to the growing number of visitors at various tourist destinations in our countries. In order to provide this reassurance, we must transition from the incomplete, sporadic application of the concept of tourism security to the holistic, integrative, and highly-co-ordinated employment of this concept on the ground,” he said.
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