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ECU Professor takes tourism to an international level

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

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Professor Ross Dowling, Foundation Professor of Tourism at ECU has been taking tourism to new heights after recently hosting a tourism workshop in the Sultanate of Oman followed by a presentation on Cruise Tourism at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.

Held on 8 February, the tourism workshop in Oman, entitled, ‘Tour Guide Workshop: Enhancing the Visitor Experience,’ attracted more than 300 tourism professionals from throughout the country

Organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman, the workshop was aimed at educating and training the national cadres who are capable of establishing a sustainable tourism industry as well as promoting valuable services to the private sector.

The workshop was a result of Professor Dowling’s research conducted last year which focused on strategies to develop a sustainable tourism plan for Oman.

In addition to the workshop, Professor Dowling met with staff and students of the Sultan Qaboos University and Oman Tourism College to discuss existing tourism opportunities.

He is also currently working with the Ministry of Tourism in Oman with regards to the possible hosting of the Third Global Geotourism Conference in 2011, following the inaugural Conference hosted by ECU in 2008, and the second being held in Malaysia in April this year.

Following this trip, Professor Dowling headed to the United Kingdom to present a report at the Second International Cruise Conference held on 18-20 February.

Entitled, ‘Explosive Growth of Cruise Tourism in Australasia,’ Professor Dowling’s presentation highlighted the dramatic increase in Australians taking cruises.

“Whilst the growth of tourism in Australia last year was only 3.9%, the growth in Australians undertaking cruising was 26%. This figure compared with cruise tourism growth in the USA at 5% and the UK at 12% over the same period, demonstrates the substantial increase in this tourism sector in Australia,” said Professor Dowling.

The conference set the scene for the launch of the International Cruise Research Society which Professor Dowling co-founded in Germany last year.

“The society brings together information from academics, researchers and the industry and will be an essential element to global cruise research”.

Professor Dowling is currently preparing a bid to bring the Fourth International Cruise Conference to Perth in 2012.

“ECU was the first University in Australia to offer a specialist unit in Cruise Ship Tourism,” said Professor Dowling.

“Many European Universities have used ECU as a benchmark for their students. This is a significant achievement as it reflects the University’s commitment to fostering excellence in research”.

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