Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kuwait's Fabulous Tourism Plans

I've been around the Kuwaiti block a few hundred thousand times and seen quite a few "new ideas" resurrected.  So, without further adieu... here we go again.

Today's news story, "Government eyes tourism as new source of income:  Minister."
(Read the full story here because I'm too bored to re-print it.)

(Sound of me, snoring...)

No, really?

In 2004 [yes, that's right - 2004.  As in TWELVE (12) years ago], Kuwait announced its 20-year plan for ... what?... TOURISM.  (Read about that here.)

And again in 2010 it was talked about.  (Read about that one here.)

Kuwait is GREAT at planning.  And talking.  And discussing.  And arguing. And procrastinating.  It's not so great at what?.... TOURISM.

For one thing, during my multiple trips around the block in Kuwait, I have come across only 2 tour companies of legitimate quality.  I only recommend one, and it is a small, non-governmental group of private Kuwaiti citizens who actually use their own private funds to buy little souvenir gifts for special customers. (They go by "Naronda or  Morqab Tours. 6009-0364. See my blog post about them HERE.)

For the next issue:  Kuwait needs to take a much closer look at its infrastructure FIRST.  Just last month, they didn't want to let people over 50 into Kuwait.  That is kinda sucky for tourism, isn't it? And official hotel packages have not been offered/allowed to SINGLE women in the past.  Many nationalities aren't allowed in Kuwait.  Can the airport accommodate tourism?

And I sincerely do not mean any disrespect to those who want to resurrect the concept of tourism to Kuwait.  I applaud them. I wish there were a lot more of them.  I just wish they would get it all going; like, ten years ago.

What Kuwait needs are people who are passionate about it's history and heritage.  (I am and I'm not even Kuwaiti!)  I wish a committee would go to Qatar and see what they have done with the Msheireb Museum.  

I really wish that Kuwait would start collecting oral histories from elder Kuwaitis to get a feel of how Kuwait used to be.  I talk to these people.  They recount the days of pearling and dhow building and getting water from wells (and I'm talking recent history - like 60 years ago).  THAT is the kind of talk Kuwait needs.  Teach the younger generations - and teach expats what Kuwait truly is; not just shopping malls and driving around in flashy cars.  Tell the grandparents' stories.  Who are your people?  Where are you from?  What makes this country unique?  What's your color, Kuwait? (Shloanik, Kuwait?)

Even the long-time expats in Kuwait are still discovering the country - and getting very little help doing it unless you are out there exploring yourself.  It's hard.  I wish the Government would really help people get to know the country they're living in (and in a language, perhaps, that they can understand?)  A lot of us don't hear about what is going on in Kuwait until it's over because of poor advertising or advertising only in Arabic.

Where is Kuwait's visitors center?  Website?  Why isn't there one?  Why don't they have brochures of local activities?  Gee....

I could go on and on.


Anonymous said...

Let me share some insight to this subject from a snails perspective.

Guy hears a knock on his door. Opens the door. Doesn't see anyone so he shakes his head with a puzzled look and closes the door. Minutes later Guy hears another knock on his door. He opens the door. Doesn't see anyone so he slams the door closed in frustration. Minutes later Guy hears another knock on his door and he opens it up and looks down and finds a snail at the foot of the door. Guy picks up the snail and throws it across his lawn in anger.

One year later he gets a knock on his door and he looks down and finds the snail. The snail looks up at him and says,"WTF was that all about?"

DG this is the story of Kuwait.

Mo said...

Even by some miracle the industry actually creates a strong tourism infrastructure. Why are they assuming that a) the rest of the world can still afford tourism given the financial climate and b) there is a billion places that are competing/already established.

I think they should focus on the services industry, and low natural resources heavy R&D operations.

Just my two cents.


Ruwaishid said...

Couldn't agree more. I was born here and still discovering places in kuwait because there is no much help provided for tourism...Kuwaits younger generation need a taste of its beautiful past.

Ruwaishid said...

Well said...Made my day