The 5th International Conference of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels was concluded at Yarmouk University under the patronage of HE Dr. Zeidan Abdul KafiKafafi, President of the University, which came this year under the title "Tourism and Peace: Way of life", with the participation of researchers and specialists from Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Algeria, Palestine, France, Italy, Oman, the United Kingdom, and Jordan, lasted for three days.
Professor Kafafi pointed out that Jordan has a great legacy of previous civilisations that were destined to be on the Jordanian soil for tens of thousands of years ago. These included the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Greeks, the Romans, the Nabataeans, the Byzantines, the Arab Muslims, the Ottomans,and the Hashemites. The best proof of these evidences is the statues of Ain Ghazal, the Obelisk of Misha, Petra, Gerasa, Gadara and other ancient cities, as well as many Christian and Islamic religious sites. He pointed out that the Faculty of Tourism is the largest tourism college in Jordan, which is growing and developing steadily towards internationalisation. It has entered the arena of international competition through one of its departments. i.e. Travel & Tourism to receive international accreditation for the bachelor programme in tourism management by the World Tourism Organisation, TEDQUAL. He appreciated theFaculty management, faculty members, administrative staff and students to maintain the distinguished scientific reputation of Yarmouk University at the local and international levels.
In his speech, the Dean of the Faculty of Tourism & Hotels, Prof. Mohammed Shunnaq, said that the conference was based on Jordan's security and peace in a surrounding environmentoverwhelmed by internal conflicts and civil wars. The conferencewas attended by researchers and specialists from around the world, and the Jordanian official bodies such as the Ministry of Tourism, the boroughs of Irbid and Jerash, and representatives of the local community. The Dean added that tourism is closely linked to peace and security, where organising such conference confirms this relationship. As tourism encourages peace between nations and acceptance of the other. Peace encourages the influx of tourists to the destinations around the world. He demonstrated the rationale behind establishing the Faculty, its departments and its future aspirations.
Dr. María José Viñalsfrom Spain, speaking on behalf of the participants, pointed out that Jordan is a well-known international tourist destination, praising the efforts of Yarmouk University, which currently leads the Middle East region in the field of heritage and tourism research. A unique academy, an opportunityto exchange ideas, and build new projects that serve tourism and tourist sites around the world. Tourism is one of the most exciting ways to build a better and peaceful world.
The first day included two sessions of papers in Arabic, chaired by Dr. Omar Jawabreh. These included, the Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Issa Gammoh, spoke about the ‘tourism security and peace’ and the Mayor of Jerash, Dr. Ali Qowqaza, On ‘the impact of stability in the region upon tourism effectiveness in Jordan’, Dr. Omar Jawabreh on ‘the extent to which environmental accounting can be applied to tourism companies within the Aqaba Economic Zone’, Ahmed Rifai on ‘the reality and challenges of adventurous tourism in Jordan’, MarshoudAlwanAldojan on ‘proposal on the role of inscriptions on tourism promotion’, Dr. Ahmad Al-Shuraideh on ‘the City of Gadra (Umm Qays-Jordan) and its humanitarian heritage and global culture’, Dr. Nawaf Tobeishat on ‘the role of event management, conferences and major events in marketing the tourist product in Jordan’, Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, Director General of Jordan Tourism Board, spoke about ‘the latest developments in marketing and promotion of Jordan as a global tourist destination’, Hussam Al Zu'bi on ‘allocatingthe economic and social benefits amongst local communities in the Debbin Forest Reserve’, Othman Tawalbeh on ‘the role of the Ajloun Forest Reserve in the conservation of nature and the promotion of ecotourism’, and Nour Al-Huda Farhan Al-Sokhni, Jamal Safi Al-Hammadi and YaqubAal Alion ‘the role of the conservation of historical rtefacts in the sustainability of tourism (Shindagha Historic District / Dubai)’.
The first day also included one session of papers in English chaired by Dr. Areej Al Oudat, in which Dr. Galal Afifi spoke on ‘tourism: far beyond political peace", Dr. María José Viñalson ‘best practices in the process of tourism enhancement of heritage sites’, Dr. Jean Michel Chapuisand Dr. Patrick Aveno on ‘tourismgrowth for Social Peace’, Dr. MohammadAbuhjeelehon ‘rethinking of tourism in Saudi Arabia: Royal Vision 2030 perspective’, Dr. Saad Al-Saad on ‘power conflict and overlap of authorities: a challenge for sustainable tourismmanagement for Jarash archaeological site’, and Dr. Emad Hijazeen on ‘Aqaba: the key to Jordan’. The second day included one session of papers in English chaired by Dr. Rafa Haddad, in which Dr. RuhatGenc spoke about ‘the reciprocal relationship between tourism and peace’, Dr. Salem Harahsheh on ‘projected images Jordan as a tourist destination on the Internet and social media’, Dr.Areej Al-Oudat on ‘refugees in Jordan as an emergenttourist market’, Prof. Khaled Al-Bashaireh on ‘developing the archaeological site of Umm el-Surab as a tourist destination’. The day also involved a leisure trip for the participants to the ancient cities of Gadara and Bella, and the tourist area of Birqesh. The last day included two sessions of papers in English, the first session chaired by Dr. Salem Harahsheh, in which Dr. Miguel Rivas Fernandes spoke of ‘The neurolectureras model for tourism and hospitality education’, Dr. Lola Teruel and Dr. María José Viñals on‘adventure tourism: astrategy to revitalise mature tourism destinations, case study of theValencian Region, Spain’, Bao Alonso Monasterio and Dr. María José Viñalson ‘communicating heritage through visitors maps’, ZeinaHalasah and Dr. María José Viñals on Management plans and local communities: a reality or utopia? The World Heritage site casestudy of Petra, Jordan’, and Dr. Fabio Carbone on ‘chasing a dream, shaping tomorrow. Understanding the past, making sense of thepresent and designing the future of the message about tourism and peace’. The second session was chaired by Dr. Saad Al-Saad, where ZahirKhasawneh and Dr. Salem Harahsheh spoke on‘marketing second home tourism in northern Jordan’, Izzedine Al-Jamrah on ‘accessibility fordisabled tourists at the archaeological site of Gadara’, and Fatima Al-Kafarini and Mai Al-Zu'bi on ‘protecting the archaeological heritage: the case of Bella in Jordan’.