Tuesday, 27 May 2008

University Lecturing Assignment

Sustainable Tourism
in the Middle East?

The past week saw the conclusion of this semester’s lecturing assignment at the Karl Scharfenberg Tourism Faculty of the University of Applied Sciences Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel. The seminar "Dubai – The Tourism of the Future?", which was held entirely in English, comprised a total of 32 contact hours and enjoyed a very high acceptance by the students.

After having studied in detail the tourism development in Dubai in the light of a sustainable development, the students were finally able to show their learning experience. They were given the task of choosing a tourism destination in the Middle East / the Arab World and analyse the development model in terms of sustainability. This was done by contrasting it with the basic conditions of sustainable tourism (sustainable management, economic benefit for communities, sociocultural and environmental compatibility).

The results were excellent, with the students showing a deep understanding of tourism planning and development mechanisms as well as the requirements of sustainability. The following is a directory of the countries / regions portrayed by the students in their paper presentations:

  • Abu Dhabi – Tourism with Arabian Soul
  • Daulat Al-Kuwait
  • Egypt – The Gift of the Sun
  • Ethiopia – 13 Months of Sunshine
  • Jordan – Kingdom of Treasures
  • Sharjah – Cultural Capital of the Arab World
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain

Each work group consisted of two, facilitating a team exercise in the process. The quality of the presentations was across the board very high both content wise and in terms of presentation skills. And, according to their own statements, they all seemed to have enjoyed the task and the work.

All in all, the lecturing assignment was highly successful, both from the points of view of the students and the lecturer. Received feedback showed a significant learning experience in the areas of tourism development, sustainability, intercultural competence and the Arab World in general.

Moreover, the interactive way of presenting the lecture along a clearly structured leitmotif resulted in remarkable acceptance and a consistently positive response.

And it would be my own pleasure to continue with this highly sympathetic and motivated group in a future semester – a possible new topic is readily available: “Latin America: Tourism Development in the Light of Responsible Action”.

Andreas Hauser

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Ethical Business Behaviour

Ethics in Tourism

Usually, when I start to talk about the topic of ethical behaviour in tourism, the first reaction I get ranges from astonishment to scepticism and even to rejection. But when the conversation enters further into the concept of ethical business guidelines in tourism and related industries, the relevance in the light of the caused impacts emerges rather quickly.

As is the case with every economic sector, tourism activities follow the requirements of a moral legitimacy in the daily work place towards one’s own self, the colleagues, the customers and the clients. Business and leisure travel causes a wide range of desirable and less desirable impacts, namely on environmental, socio-cultural and economic level.

While these effects are attempted to be mitigated under the umbrella of a sustainable tourism development, the industry leaders and the employees often wonder by which means they can positively shape their surrounding. By whichguidelines can and should they act in order to behave in a responsible and ethically legitimate way?

The World Tourism Organisation UNWTO as the industry leader provides an answer to that. Conscious of tourism’s special responsibility as a driver of global interchange and expansion, it has drawn up the “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism”. Published already in 1999, the Code has yet to reach a broad recognition as a baseline requirement for every actor in the industry.

In an effort to promote the highly relevant principles of ethical behaviour in the sector, the following provides a summary of the key understandings of what tourism should be and strive to stand for:

  1. Mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies

  2. Individual and collective fulfillment

  3. Factor of sustainable development

  4. Catalyser for the cultural heritage of mankind

  5. Beneficial activity for host countries and communities

  6. Obligations of stakeholders in tourism development

  7. Right to tourism

  8. Liberty of tourism movements

  9. Rights of workers and entrepreneurs in the industry

  10. Implementation of the Code‘s principles

The full Code can be viewed and downloaded here:

In my opinion, every participant in the industry, especially the promoters and developers of tourism activities, should be well aware of the implications that their actions will irrevocably cause.

The Code helps by giving a general guidance in difficult issues – and this clearly makes it one of the baseline documents to follow in daily (work) life.

Andreas Hauser

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Management: Career Success

Factors of Career Success

The renown German weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche (“Business Week”) recently published an interesting article on career success. It was a compilation of factors that have an influence on job progress.

While some of the identified aspects are rather obvious (e.g. loyalty, physical height or academic degree), others were less evident and even surprising. In any case, all of the mentioned success factors were backed up by empirical or academic research to support the claim.

In an effort to shed some light on the typology of successful managers, here is a selection of the most interesting factors of career success:

brown is the most attractive, red the least attractive colour; but even more important is the existence of hair, since baldness is seen as a sign of lacking career orientation

managers that sleep well and enough have an empirical higher rate of job promotion than those with little sleep

a deep and low organ is perceived as pleasant and sympathetic, attributing sovereignty and competence to the bearer

up to one third of the jobs in Europe are found on the basis of personal contacts and recommendations, and networkers have higher average incomes

almost half of all managers actively shape and influence a positive online reputation – and many head hunters specifically search for this type of representation

only 15% of all layoffs are caused by incompetence – all the rest is based on mal- or mis-communication, for which the lack of humour is seen as a clear indicator

almost 90% of business leaders see a strong connection between personal success and good behaviour, which positively influences business results

according to an IBM study, only 10% of professional success is based on technical knowledge; of much higher importance are image (30%) and level of popularity (60%)

Some of the factors like sleep or hair appear rather unexpectedly and can safely be assumed as of minor significance. However, the importance of humour, reputation, networks and manners cannot certainly not be underestimated.

So in case one is wondering about personal hindrances for a progress in the job, the above mentioned factors for career success are certainly worthwhile to investigate a little further.

Andreas Hauser