Hospitality, explored: CBS Study Trip to Oman

All Categories, Inside CBS   -  27. February 2019

Students of the CBS exchanged the Cologne lecture hall with Oman for 10 days during the CBS Study Trip. Luxury, water sports, desert, hiking, culture, UNESCO World Heritage: Oman is a young and colourful travel destination, known for its outstanding hospitality, in which the tourism industry could soon become the largest economic sector. In mid-January, 15 students and two CBS representatives travelled to Oman to explore the backgrounds of this booming destination for tourism – as part of a 3 ECTS-point-rated seminar abroad. The students worked academically on site, gained insights and presented their results in the authentic setting of a desert camp, at the partner university or in the shared accommodation. The 15 students mainly study International Tourism Management, but also International Business and Intercultural Management. They were supervised in Oman by Dr. Desmond Wee, Dean of International Tourism Management, and Hanno Martens, Lecturer in Tourism. “What is different at the CBS is learning through research and practice. The seminar in Oman provided our students with exclusive, first-hand knowledge about management and deep cultural insights about the environment – skills that cannot be learned in the classroom,” says Dr. Desmond Wee.

Boom country Oman

Oman is one of the most interesting countries for tourism. It is currently implementing a National Tourism Strategy 2040, which is starting to bear fruit: For the Lonely Planet, in 2012 the capital Muscat was the second best city destination in the world. In the last five years the number of hotels has grown by almost a third and the tourism has increased by around 8 per cent last year. 10 per cent of the tourists currently come from Germany. “The tourism boom becomes evident when visiting the region: the mix of tourism professionalism, hospitality, culture and nature is unique,” says CBS student Tiffany Dhur.

Studying tourism, but not as a tourist

The students gained a comprehensive insight into the tourism sector in a packed excursion programme: At the Ministry of Tourism the political and strategic vision became clear and at the German University of Technology in Oman – partner university of the CBS – the emphasis was on the dialogue with the local students: The students from Germany and Oman had the unique opportunity to explore the cultural differences and similarities in education, culture and everyday life. Visits to the luxury hotels InterContinental Muscat and three thematically different Shangri-la hotels showed how tourists experience Oman. A guided tour through the new The W Hotel, which has not yet been opened, revealed the latest developments in the hotel industry. The Canvas Club Desert Camp showcased how luxurious camping in the desert actually can be. Two typical tourist highlights – the Nizwa Fort and the Wadi Shab – were also on the agenda, and during a desert crossing with Omani friends and an overnight stay under the stars offered the opportunity to interact closely with the people and experience the fascination of motoring in the desert.

“Through the interaction with a foreign culture and local students, experts and everyday people, our students not only acquired knowledge but also valuable personal skills,” reports Hanno Martens.

“For me, the most fascinating thing about the study trip to Oman was that through the intercultural exchange with many people, the country and tourism, we were really able to get to know each other from all sides and from very special perspectives”. says CBS student Lea Knicker.

CBS regularly offers students excursions and projects with business partners. In addition, CBS actively promotes stays abroad, for example via its worldwide network of partner universities.

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