This summer, Recep (Richie) Karaburun, DPS, will lead one of the Tisch Center of Hospitality’s Study Away programs to Tel Aviv, Israel. While the program is based in Tel Aviv, students will also spend one day in Jerusalem and experience more of the history of Israel and its role in destination marketing. "Dr. K" tells us more about the program below.
You named this study away course “Non-Stop City. What are the objectives of this program?
The main goal is to learn all about destination marketing, placemaking, and hospitality branding: so, we’re going to be learning how to market a destination as a tourism destination. We are going to do visits to the Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and will learn what it takes to become a competitive tourism destination. We will also be talking about the different components of strategic digital marketing.
I always say it takes a village to create a tourism destination. Stakeholders in destination marketing include hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, media, education entities like universities, and shows and attractions. We will explore how Tel Aviv and Jerusale address challenges as the Middle East can be a challenging part of the world, and how the destination uses religion as a marketing tool.
How will studying abroad in Tel Aviv enhance this course?
Before COVID, we used to take students in New York to the tourism offices of Argentina, Israel, and Turkey, but unfortunately,that is harder now. InTel Aviv, we are going to be in the destination, talking about the destination, learning from the destination marketers, and seeing everything while it's being done - and it is a very different and effective way of learning. In the morning, we are going to have some classes on theories and how to apply them, and in the afternoon, we'll go and see what tourism offices are doing and what challenges they face.
What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?
I hope that this trip will open up their eyes to different cultures. One of the things that we are covering is cultural sensitivity and cultural literacy; this is a very important topic because our students are global citizens. When we talk about nation branding and placemaking, culture is a very important variable. Students may be experiencing Middle Eastern culture for the first time, and Israel is also unique since it is a Jewish country within the Middle East. We're going to spend one day in Jerusalem, which is a historical and religious city. At the same time, Israel is also a very modern country and often talked about as a startup nation, so we’re going to visit some of the startups, particularly technology startups, which Israel is known for.
This trip is going to add to students’ networks because we’re going to be meeting with different people. I always tell students that your network is your net worth, so networking is very powerful.
How will you help students make the most of their study away experience?
My favorite thing that I always say to my students is “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, and in order to enhance the experience, preparation is key. We are going to spend several sessions pre-departure on covering the underlying concepts in destination marketing.
When we are in Israel, there will be many opportunities for the students to ask travel professionals questions. Students will see destination marketers in action and learn about what they do on a day-to-day basis in order to promote Tel Aviv or their companies.
In hospitality, we talk about experiential travel and how it's all about the experiences, especially for the younger generations, and how you make visitors feel. So, part of it what excites me is that students are really going to get the vibe of the city. Tel Aviv is known as a non-stop city. Being there, students will see why that is, and feel the vibe of this beautiful Mediterranean city.