Reach Out To Asia (Rota) has announced that its annual youth-led conference, Empower 2017, will take place from March 2 to 4 at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Centre in Education City.
Essa al-Mannai, executive director, Rota, will attend the conference, while Dr Khalid al-Sulaiti, general manager of the Katara the Cultural Village, will give the opening speech.
The ninth 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’.
The participants will explore ways to become engaged in sustainable tourism to promote cultural heritage, and contribute to economic growth and environmental preservation with the aim of achieving Qatar’s sustainability objectives and the United Nations Sustainable
Mohamed Abdulla Saleh, national programme director, Rota, said that the organisation “firmly believes in investing in the leaders of tomorrow, and Empower underscores the importance of youth empowerment and leadership”.
He added, “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 utilise their capabilities to achieve success and independence.
“The conference will highlight the key role of youth in promoting sustainable tourism, and serve as an impactful tool to engage young people as leaders and empower them to take action towards a successful and sustainable future.”
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 Centre, 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’ 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.
Rota’s youth advisory board members Ahmed Allenjawi, Rehab al-Naemi, and Empower Youth Planning Committee member Dalal Mohamed were also present at the press conference.