On Monday May 25th, a RCAPS sponsored seminar was held at APU.
The seminar welcomed Dr. Walter Jamieson. His lecture was titled, "Tourism and Hospitality in the Asia Pacific : Challenges and New Direction".
A RCAPS seminar, "Tourism and Hospitality in the Asia Pacific: Challenges and New Directions" was held on the May 25th, welcoming Dr. Walter Jamieson, advisor to Service Innovation Programme, College of Innovation, Thammasat University.
Around 30 students came to listen to and discuss tourism issues with Dr. Jamieson.
Among many issues concerning tourism, in the short time we had with Dr. Jamieson, he lectured on the changes in tourism over the years, its forms, trends and the impact of tourism.
Dr. Jamieson discussed how the traditional forms of tourism: sun, sea and sand, were no longer the key motives for why people travel, but rather: security, sanitation and satisfaction.
He spoke of how the overall trends have changed due to many factors including the internet, low cost carriers, and a shift in what people want, saying that there has been an overall increase in travel to Asia, a wider range of tourists (ie. Not only the wealthy), and a greater demand for service. Other trends he discussed were how tourism can be seen as a powerful, developmental tool for the poor to reduce poverty, empower women, increase health and clean water and also how a demand of creative industries is growing as communities inviting tourists must look at how to harness and brand their trait to attract tourists.
Dr. Jamieson stressed the importance of looking at the great impact tourism has on a country and its people. Tourism, he said is often measured in terms of success of international arrivals, GDP, numbers of jobs, currency exchange, etc., but the impact of tourism on a county is not discussed often enough. Tourism implies a significant impact on the environment at the cost of the local people. He went into conclusion by discussing the need for one to question whether a community and destination is better off after tourism and that for responsible tourism there should be economic development and a better understanding of each other rather than a damaged indigenous community and/or environment.
The lecture was followed by questions by a few students, some, who voiced concerns of negative impacts tourism may be having on a community and what may be lost to a culture by tourism. In response to this Dr. Jamieson spoke of how a community must make a decision about what to keep for themselves, and what to sell to tourists so that tourism may be a tool for development, rather than a means of turning a whole culture and way of life into a commodity.