Building Bridges Between Cultures
Tourism is one of the sectors that has a significant impact on local or global socio-economic growth. The common purpose should be to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. Considering that tourism is an important part of service sector, human capital is very important. It is clear that a well-educated human capital, especially the young, can accept difficult conditions more consciously, adapt to new situations and innovations more easily. Therefore, they can reshape and regenerate the sector to develop it much better and faster.
Under normal circumstances, travel and tourism sector generates more than 10 percent of the global GDP when its direct, indirect and induced impacts are all taken into account. As tourism grows, new job opportunities and skills emerge. Today, it is clearly understood that we need to develop a more competent, competitive, diversified and flexible tourism sector. If we can focus our collective efforts on rebuilding and reshaping the tourism sector, we can help tourism economy boost up to make it one of the main drivers of the global economy. This is where the media comes into play. Modern media technologies help market the products of tourism in new ways. The media should help people gain “the new tourism” mindset and show its requirements.
In some special cases people may not be able to travel. In such a challenging situation via technological innovations people are now e-learning and e-travelling by watching videos with tourism content, joining virtual tours and tourism webinars. So now, besides real travelling, there is also virtual travelling. Even though people cannot travel physically, videos and documentaries on travel channels are especially helpful for them to venture out in spirit and travel to their dream destinations. There are times that people literally look forward to quenching their craving for travelling just to heal their souls. They need to change mood, feel the joys of travel wherever their next journey will take them to and simply enjoy life. People need the virtual or real travel therapy for the wellbeing of their souls.
The proper promotion of a destination is essential for both real and virtual travelling. Ethically, tourism journalists or travel writers are always suggested to have visited the place described. They should give accurate, updated, realistic information in order to prevent clients from being disappointed about overpriced, oversold and understaffed destinations. Journalists need to be tourism literate and be able to analyze the situation. Articles, videos, and other journalistic products should reflect a place in the most accurate and realistic way, while deepening our understanding of its history, art, and culture.
There’s no doubt that tourism journalists and travel writers should also refer to peoples’ senses. Their articulation should be able to heighten the potential clients’ emotions to make them feel the beauty, see or listen like an artist or poet. And in the end, it should give the reader a desire to get out of their comfort zone and to travel there to see the unknown. This is important not just for tourism but also for global peace because through travel to various parts of the world, we understand the value of being different but also learn being a great family at the same time. It reminds us that life is beautiful and we should hold on to it.
Tourism journalism should be seen as a phenomenon worthy of study in its own right, and an important force to be promoted and controlled wisely at the same time. Because of its undeniable power, tourism journalists and travel writers, bloggers, vloggers and all other contributors of travel and tourism sector have a great responsibility. There is a lot of work for them to be done to increase mobility in tourism sector. The world needs them to build strong bridges between cultures rather than walls of fear.
From this point of view, FIJET represents a huge power with more than 700 members consisting of tourism academicians, writers, journalists and media community. As one of the leading international organizations FIJET- Fédération Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains du Tourisme- World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers which aims to contribute to the maintenance and strengthening of cooperation among countries, helps to improve world peace, tourism, and communication.
As FIJET, we believe that we should specifically focus our efforts on the youth because they have the capacity to take the world to a better place by adapting to innovations much better and faster. Moreover, they are consumers, creators, workers and the future leaders of the tourism sector. They need to be trained well to become real game changers in this sector as they will be shaping it to make it more sustainable.
With this belief, we invite young people from the member countries of FIJET to join our FIJET Academy for Young Journalists Program. We organize FIJET Academy for Young Journalists at a different destination every year with the contribution of the distinguished professors of the host Universities and the FIJET Academy Committee, local authorities and sponsoring firms. In order to help the young journalism and tourism students to be conscious and knowledgeable in their contribution to travel and tourism sector, our seasoned team of professors teach them some crucial tourism essentials, how to analyze facts and figures and also help them gain a new perspective. Our destination marketing-focused program also helps promote the destination by taking the participants to sightseeing tours to enhance their knowledge so they get a chance to see historical places, the local culture and meet new people. They also savor local food and learn local gastronomy. Besides these, we share new experiences all together which become lifelong memories. Together with our students we discover new cultures. We see, understand and appreciate the different colors of different cultures.
FIJET believes in the intelligence, energy and talents of the young people to create a better future for the world.
Fatma Sema Kutlu
FİJET Academy Committee
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