UF students to foster tourism development in Turkey-Armenia border region
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Students and faculty from the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance will travel to Turkey next month as part of an ongoing effort to promote peace through tourism and cultural understanding.
They will research, create and implement tourism initiatives in collaboration with students and professors from Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey and Armenian State University of Economics.
This trip is part of a three-year cooperative agreement among the three universities to strengthen tourism education, research and industry outreach while bridging the gaps between cultures. Historically, relations between the Turks and Armenians have been strained by a number of political and societal issues that have hindered efforts to unite the region. In October 2009, both countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations, an effort that is still in the early stages of development.
Asli Tasci, assistant professor in the department of tourism, recreation and sport management, and Stephanie Thorn, Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute Program manager, will travel with 11 UF students over a 10-day period as they visit Istanbul and Kars and Ani. There, they will collaborate on a project to employ regional tourism development initiatives at the Ani Ruins, also known as the City of 1001 Churches. The ruins are a major cultural and heritage site significant in both the Armenian and Turkish cultures.
Students will use social media and online networking tools such as Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr and WordPress to help promote tourism within the Turkey-Armenia border region. In addition, participants from all three universities will share presentations on various aspects of their cultures, covering topics such as music and dance, cuisine, religion and daily life.
This project is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey and is sponsored by the EFTI at the University of Florida.
The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute is committed to building a bridge between the tourism industry, organizations, destinations and higher education through excellence in interdisciplinary research that provides strategic information focused on a wide array of travel, tourism and hospitality opportunities.
For more information, please contact Tasci at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-294-1653, or Thorn at email@example.com or 352-392-3992.
- Allison Vitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-294-1609