Published on : Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Munich in Germany witnessed a steep rise in visitors from the Middle East, specially the Arab countries in the last few years. More than 60 % of the Arab travelers chose Munich as their preferred destination in Germany.
With the main goal to facilitate a real world experience related to tourism and regional development in a different country, a group of students and professors of the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development of the German University of Technology (GUtech) recently participated in an international excursion to Germany. They visited the cities of Aachen and Munich as well as their surrounding areas. The excursion enabled them to interact with students from other universities and to broaden the horizon.
“Besides the learning experience around tourism and regional development in Germany, this international excursion helped on the one hand to strengthen the links between Omani and German students in the field of tourism and regional development and on the other hand it also strengthened the ties with our partner-universities and their staff,” said Dr Marike Bontenbal, Professor of the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development at GUtech.
As a result of the increase in tourist numbers in Munich, the city’s Tourism Board has adjusted its tourism strategy. To learn more about the tourism strategy, the group from GUtech had a range of activities and meetings with key experts from the university, the city’s government and the Munich Tourist Board. During different sightseeing tours, including a city tour and a trip to the Alps and Germany’s highest mountain famous Zugspitze, the tourism infrastructure was assessed by the GUtech students and their study colleagues of the faculty of tourism of the University of Applied Sciences in Munich.
The second part of the excursion, conducted in cooperation with GUtech’s parent-university RWTH Aachen University, Department of Geography, took place in the city of Aachen, located close to the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. The field-trips undertaken from there focused more on issues related to regional development, for example the students visited a joint Dutch-German business park in Kerkrade/Herzogenrath and a former coal mining complex in Essen, which has been transformed into a UNESCO heritage site, as well as a former gas container transformed into an exhibition centre.