The Network has identified four strategic objectives to be achieved during the years 2018-2020. The following paragraph describes these priorities and their relationship with United Nations 17 SDGs for the year 2030, and the principles of the UNWTO-Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
The four strategic objective are: 1. Establishing governance and building external relations, 2. Support projects to protect and develop the environment and the cultural heritage, 3. Develop tourism destination management and achieve competitiveness, and 4. Facilitate travel for all.
Strategic Objective1: Establishing governance and building external relations:
The Network aims at building an image for the Network based on transparency, equality and commitment for the benefit of all stakeholders. To achieve this, the Network establishes governing bodies to ensure the efficient implementation of policies, vision and mission and plans of actions. The approach used for decision making process at the governance level emphasizes on democracy, market research and providing fair and equal opportunities for all.
This stage is essential for the Network to act as a sound platform for engaging travel and tourism policy makers from the public and private sector and, other relevant sectors in the Middle East and Mediterranean region, to integrate SDGs in their policies and action plans.
This is consistent with our goals in improving policies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, geopolitical conflicts and, the ICT and digital revolution whilst; maximizing the positive impact of sustainable travel and tourism development on economies and societies in the Middle East and Mediterranean region.
Strategic Objective 2: Support projects to protect and develop the environment and cultural heritage:
It aims at empowering youth and women economically and socially in local communities, in order to pave the way for future generations to participate in the sustainable development plans and contribute to societal responsibility in Middle East region. For this reason the Network has developed “Leaders of Tomorrow in Travel and Tourism Program” offering opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage, compete and grow in travel and tourism sector through proposing projects that contribute to job creation, local community engagement and protecting natural and cultural assets.
The program supports science- based innovative projects and award certificates of excellence for competitors in cooperation with regional and international organizations. The program supports projects that in essence provides extraordinary experiences to visitors and contribute to the value chain of travel and tourism sector in activities such as : eco-tourism, agri-tourism, cultural, handicrafts, adventures and sports, food tourism, lodging, accessible travel and tourism for all, and transportation sector.
The strategic objective: Support Projects to Protect and Develop the Environment and Cultural Heritage is consistent with the principles and guidelines set by the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, especially with Article 3: Tourism, a factor of sustainable development, and Article 4: Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and a contributor to its enhancement, and Article 5: Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities.
In this context, this objective is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 17 SDGs for year 2030, especially Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 5: Gender Equality , Goal 8: Decent Work and Sustainable Economic Growth, and Goal 10: Reduce inequalities within and among countries.
Strategic Objective 3: Develop tourism destination management and achieve competitiveness:
It aims to help national authorities and DMOs in Middle East region to achieve excellence and branding through efficient planning, management and governance for travel and tourism sector development. The Network will cooperate with UNWTO Quest Certification Programme-Themis Foundation to provide:
Furthermore, the Network will support DMOs in the region through providing technical assistance focusing on developing transnational thematic tourism routes and projects between destinations in the region. Thematic tourism routes help in improving tourism experiences for visitors, linking assets, connecting people, and developing trade similar but not limited to successful models such as the “Silk Road” project in Asia and “Bikers' Route” in Europe.
The strategic objective: Develop Tourism Destination Management and Achieve Competitiveness is crosscutting with 10 principles and guidelines set by the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
In this context, the strategic objective is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 17 SDGs for year 2030, especially with: Goal 8: Decent Work and Sustainable Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduce Inequalities Within and Among Countries, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Goal 17: Partnerships for Goals.
Strategic Objective 4: Facilitate travel for all:
Facilitate travel for all is a universal right consistent with UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13: The right to freedom of movement. This strategic objective is relevant and inspired by the universal rights and meets with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism policy document which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2001, affirming the “right to tourism and the freedom of tourism movements”, and called on governments to facilitate travel for all without discrimination whilst ensuring safety and security for travelers.
In June 2012 Summit and based on these declarations and many efforts exerted by the international organizations in travel and tourism sector, G20 Leaders recognized the role of tourism as “a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development” and furthermore committed to “work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives to support job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.” (G20 Declaration - June 2012).
In this context, this objective is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 17 SDGs for year 2030, especially Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 8: Decent Work and Sustainable Economic Growth, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
To achieve the strategic objective; Facilitate Travel for All, Middle East Travel and Tourism Development Network will direct its activities through opening dialogue based on mutual interests to ensure:
The Network adopts building trust and commitment as strategic approach to provide quality services to stakeholders. The Network provides equal opportunities and services for all, focusing on:
The Middle East University was founded in 2005 as a Graduate Studies University with twelve specializations. Towards the beginning of the academic year 2008-2009 the university opened twenty specializations for both Graduate and Undergraduate students with the ongoing growth in staff and students.