The Communication Arts Department organized a lecture on “The Role of Media in Fostering Tourism in Lebanon”. Present were AUST President, Mrs. Hiam Sakr, Chairperson of the Communication Arts Department, Dr. George Farha, communication arts instructors Mr. Ramy Rayyes and Mr. Neshan Derharutiunian, and an avid number of faculty and student body.
Dr. Farha welcomed the attendees and gave a short speech in which he stated that on the importance of media as a broad term and said that media plays a crucial role in endorsing tourism, provoking both the private and the public sector to re-boost this industry, for the benefits it would produce; he suggested a series of measures to counter such lack.
Mr. Rami El Rayyes, on his part, argued that we have to create a positive collaboration between tourism and the media, emphasizing the importance of instituting a shared and interactive dialogue between the student body and the political one. He added that “we must be able to harmonize between free and responsible expressions as to endorse tourism in many ways, without undermining other industries such as agriculture or development.”
H.E. Avedis Guidanian, in his speech, said that “we have great expectations for this coming summer to be one of the best tourist seasons in years; it is predicted to surpass previous years and become one of the best in a decade.” He expected tourists from the GCC countries to flock in after the Holy Month of Ramadan in great numbers, especially after the recent ban lift. H.E. then announced a plan set by the Ministry that included diversification of markets that will affect Europe, China and India; this in turn would strengthen the national economy. He also said that all these efforts are done in parallel with an on-going tourism promotion plan and the institution of local and regional committees for the prompt marketing of tourism.
The talk concluded with an extensively interactive Q&A that emphasized the importance of Lebanon’s image and perception development in the world, and was sealed with Mrs. Sakr presenting Mr. Guidanian with a shield of appreciation. A collective photo concluded the event.