‘Engaging national psyche is vital to tourism success’

Neil: Tourism is about who we are

CAPTIVATING the national psyche of a country towards delivering a truly memorable visitor experience is key to the long-term success of the Middle East’s tourism industry, according to an international branding expert.

“National pride is the cornerstone of the tourism industry. It’s a business which cannot be confined to the boardroom. Everyone in the country is a shareholder and its success depends on their support,” said Dubai-based consultant Judy Neil.
Neil, who has branding experience across the Middle East and Africa, is to deliver a seminar devoted to Engaging The National Psyche For Delivery at next year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
“Tourism is not only about products and services,” said Neil. “It’s also about who we are and what we represent as a city or a country. Travelling is a sequence of experiences documented from the time we leave home until our return. It is this sequence of small, or large, experiences by which we are measured and it is the overall experience by which we are judged.”
Neil says that engaging the national psyche is the key to improving the overall experience of every tourist and had been used successfully in the Far East.
“It is crucial to ensuring return visits, longer stays and an increase in ‘first-time’ travellers. Singapore and Malaysia have embraced this philosophy with great success,” she said.
Engaging The National Psyche is part of an educational seminar programme planned by ATM organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) as part of the expanded trade visitor experience of the show, which runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the UAE from May 1 to 4, 2007.