- Symposium to Highlight Role of Young People in Driving Sustainable Tourism
Doha, Qatar, February 21, 2017:Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) has officially announced its annual youth-led conference, EMPOWER 2017, which is set to take place from March 2 – 4 at the Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Center in Education City.
Mr. Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of ROTA, will attend the conference, while Dr. Khalid Al-Sulaiti, General Manager of the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara, will give the opening speech.
The 9th edition of the EMPOWER conference will bring together more than 450 young people, aged 17 – 30, from Qatar, the region and around the world under the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism for Development: A Youth Perspective’.
During the gathering, the participants will explore ways to become engaged in sustainable tourism to promotecultural heritage, and contribute to economic growth and environmental preservation with the aim of achieving Qatar’s sustainability objectives and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Announcing EMPOWER 2017, Mohamed Abdulla Saleh, National Program Director, ROTA, said: “ROTA firmly believes in investing in the leaders of tomorrow, and EMPOWER underscores the importance of youth empowerment and leadership. Sustainable tourism was selected as the theme for this year’s conference as it aligns with ROTA’s mission to address skills development, education, and investment in youth to motivate them to utilize their capabilities to achieve success and independence.”
“The conference will highlight the key role of youth in promoting sustainable tourism, and will serve as an impactful tool to engage young people as leaders and empower them to take action towards a successful and sustainable future,” Mr. Saleh added.
For EMPOWER 2017, ROTA has partnered with INJAZ Qatar; Qatar Tourism Authority; Aspire Logistics; the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Doha Film Institute; Qatar Museums; Katara Cultural Village; Bedaya; Qatar Development Bank; Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; Qatar Leadership Academy; ILLAFTrain Center; Silatech; Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; the Ministry of Culture and Sports; and Msheireb Properties.
The theme of this year’s conference holds special significance as the UN has declared 2017 the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’ in order to highlight the role of the tourism sector in advancing economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The three-day conference will include a combination of seminar discussions, keynote speeches, exhibitions, off-site excursions, and group workshops all built around the theme of sustainable tourism from a youth perspective. The workshops will cover numerous topics including Tourism and Social Media; The Marketing and Branding of Nations; Arts for Sustainable Tourism; Intercultural Learning in Sustainable Tourism; Leadership from a Different Perspective; and Effective Team Work.
EMPOWER was established by ROTA to promote leadership and service learning among youth. Over the years, the gathering has gone on to become a vital platform that enables young people to hone their leadership skills and develop solutions to some of the most pressing global issues.