Doha. Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) concluded its second day of a training workshop entitled “Preparing a model to establish and successfully operate a tourism security unit” today, in cooperation with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Mr. Ahmed Abdallah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of QTA, delivered the opening address for the two-day workshop, and was followed by Mr. Amr Abdel-Ghaffar, the UNWTO Regional Representative for the Middle East. In attendance were a number of lecturers and participants from Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan and the UNWTO. The training workshop consisted of five sessions, and opened with speeches by QTA Chairman Mr. Ahmed Abdallah Al Nuaimi and Mr. Amr Abdel-Ghaffar of the UNWTO.
Brigadier-General Mr. Thabet Kamal Al Naser, Director of the Department for Planning and Organization in the Jordanian Ministry of Interior, spoke on Jordan’s experience in the field of tourism security for the first three sessions of the workshop. He dealt with a variety of topics within tourism security, including the preservation of tourist facilities and security training mechanisms.
During his opening comments, Mr. Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Chairman of QTA, said, “We have decided to join the 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 the State of 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 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.” This workshop is the implementation of one of a series of training plans that have been undertaken by the Qatar Tourism Authority in its quest for human resource development in the tourism sector. QTA adopted this comprehensive training plan as a result of a Qatar summit on the challenges of human resources in tourism, which was held in Doha this past April.
Mr. Amr Abdel-Ghaffar, the UNWTO Regional Representative for the Middle East, 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.” He added, “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-coordinated employment of this concept on the ground.
Furthermore, we must strengthen the partnerships necessary for reconciling the requirements of safety and security on the one hand, and the need to facilitate the movement of visitors on the other.”Tourism security has become a fundamental requirement and vital component of the tourism industry across the globe, particularly in those countries where the tourism industry is considered to be the forefront of achieving sustainable development and transitioning to a green economy. The existence of a mature tourism security branch has become one of the most important factors to the flourish of the tourism industry and touristic appeal around the world.