Sunday, 23 December 2007

Book Recommendation: Life

How To Fly
© by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. Having endured as a classic over time and space, it serves as a phenomanal source of inspiration, laughter, satire, strangeness. Obviously, it also boasts a complete and utter lack of seriousness. Or just the opposite.

As a final thought for 2007, here is an excerpt that kindly illustrates one of the last remaining mysteries of the Earth or even the Universe
the art of flying.

Possibly a highly memorable way to start the new year 2008, may it be entertaining and colorful!


There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy suggests, and try it.

The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt.

That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard.

Clearly, it is the second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.

One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It's no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won't. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something else when you're halfway there, so that you are no longer thinking about falling, or about the ground, or about how much it's going to hurt if you fail to miss it.

It is notoriously difficult to prize your attention away from these three things during the split second you have at your disposal. Hence most people's failure, and their eventual disillusionment with this exhilarating and spectacular sport.

If, however, you are lucky enough to have your attention momentarily distracted at the crucial moment by, say, a gorgeous pair of legs (tentacles, pseudopodia, according to phyllum and/or personal inclination) or a bomb going off in your vicinty, or by suddenly spotting an extremely rare species of beetle crawling along a nearby twig, then in your astonishment you will miss the ground completely and remain bobbing just a few inches above it in what might seem to be a slightly foolish manner.

This is a moment for superb and delicate concentration. Bob and float, float and bob. Ignore all consideration of your own weight simply let yourself waft higher. Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful. They are most likely to say something along the lines of "Good God, you can't possibly be flying!" It is vitally important not to believe them or they will suddenly be right.

Waft higher and higher. Try a few swoops, gentle ones at first, then drift above the treetops breathing regularly.


When you have done this a few times you will find the moment of distraction rapidly easier and easier to achieve.

You will then learn all sorts of things about how to control your flight, your speed, your maneuverability, and the trick usually lies in not thinking too hard about whatever you want to do, but just allowing it to happen as if it were going to anyway.

You will also learn about how to land properly, which is something you will almost certainly screw up, and screw up badly, on your first attempt.

© Douglas Adams


Douglas Adams
“The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - A Trilogy in Five Parts” in English, ISBN 0517149257
“Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis - 5 Romane in 1 Band” in Deutsch, ISBN 3453209613

Andreas Hauser

Monday, 17 December 2007

Public Relations

Tourism Development in Dubai:
Seminar & Presentation at FU Bozen

Dubai is a showcase for perfecting the macroeconomic value chain. During the past years, the Emirate has been able to create a unique brand and a highly successful tourism destination. The vision and the strategy behind this venture were made the topics of a seminar and a presentation at the Free University of Bozen in South Tyrol / Italy.

The full-day seminar seminar was aimed at the first and second year students of the tourism management faculty at the campus in Bruneck. During the lecture, drivers behind Dubai's development were discussed as well as possible negative impacts of the rapid growth. Furthermore, an interactive assessment was made as to Dubai's role as a benchmark example for other tourism destinations.

In the evening, the tourism management club of the FU Bozen (entirely run by highly motivated students) organized an event to discuss possible implications of the tourism strategy of Dubai for South Tyrol. While it became clear that Dubai is opting for a different market segment, its ambitious vision and its drive for innovation are obviously something to look up to.

In absence of an offical English version, the published press article is herafter presented in its original German language:

12 Dezember 2007

Ist Dubais Weg zukunftsweisend?

Vortragsabend des Tourismus-Management-Clubs -- asd
"Was lässt sich von Dubai lernen?"

Bruneck - Luxuriöse Hotels mit bis zu 6500 Zimmern, gigantische Themenparks, von Menschenhand aufgeschüttete Palmeninseln und Vorzeigeobjekte wie das "Burdsch al- Arab" stehen für eine neue Form des Tourismus in Dubai. "Ist dieser Weg zukunftsweisend?", fragten am Montag die Referenten des Tourismus-Management-Club- Abends, Oswin Maurer und Andreas Hauser.

"Der Tourismus der Zukunft hat in Dubai bereits begonnen mit einer Entwicklungsgeschwindigkeit, die überwältigend ist", skizzierte Andreas Hauser, ein Experte für Tourismusentwicklung aus München, die Situation: Derzeit zählt Dubai 44.000 Zimmer in 439 Hotels, 2015 sollen es bereits 127.000 Zimmer in 554 Hotels sein. Das bekannte Hotel "Burdsch al-Arab" ist das Aushängeschild dieses neuen Wirtschaftszweigs.

Die Referenten Andreas Hauser (links) und Oswin Maurer (rechts)
mit den Moderatorinnen Nadine Stierle und Kathleen Reilley
Foto: TMC

Was abschauen?

"Die bedeutende Rolle des Marketing, die Investition in Bildung und der Mut zu Innovationen mit einer genau definierten Zukunftsplanung sind Aspekte, die sich Südtirol von Dubai abschauen könnte", meinte Hauser.

"So etwa wie ein Autounfall: schrecklich und doch schaut jeder hin", beschrieb Oswin Maurer, der Dekan der Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Freien Universität Bozen, Dubai. Durch die künstliche Aufschüttung von Inseln wie das Megaprojekt "The World" mit 300 Inseln und andere Großprojekte spiele sich in Dubai derzeit eine Hysterie ab, deren Ende nicht abzusehen sei. Aspekte wie der hohe Wasser- und Energieverbrauch seien derzeit kein Thema. Andererseits werde konsequent in Bildung investiert wie etwa mit der Planung der University City, in der innerhalb von nur drei Jahren Plätze für 120.000 Studenten geschaffen werden.


Was das Emirat Dubai anderen Ländern voraus habe, sei der klar definierte Masterplan, der in allen Wirtschaftsbereichen durchgezogen werde. "Was man von Dubai lernen kann, ist, nicht den Mut zu verlieren und auch anderen den Mut zu Neuem nicht zu nehmen", sagte Maurer. Einen großen Vorteil habe Südtirol aber dennoch: seine Geschichte und seine Tradition.

Und ein Blick hinter die Kulissen zeigt, dass auch in Südtirol einiges richtig läuft: So liegt die Auslastung der Hotels nach Berechnungen der beiden Vortragenden in Dubai mit rund 50 Prozent bei weitem unter jener in Südtirol.

For further information please refer to:

Free University of Bozen

Tourism Management Club

Andreas Hauser