This trip is part of a three-year cooperative agreement between 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.
Assistant Professor in the department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, Dr. Asli Tasci, and Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (EFTI) Program Manager Stephanie Thorn will travel with 11 UF students over a 10-day period as they visit Istanbul, 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 EFTI at the University of Florida.
For more information, please contact Dr. Asli Tasci at email@example.com or 352-294-1653.