Iulie 2011, Tarsus, Turcia - ’Dissemination Event LdV/PAR/2009/RO/016'

TARSUS Chamber of Commerce and Industry Meeting
Tarsus, 26-27 July, 2011

The city of Tarsus, located in Anatolia, boasts a 9000-year old history and is therefore one of the oldest cities in the world. Tarsus has become the ‘melting pot’ of several cultures which have all flourished on its territory. The buried values and vestiges have made Tarsus a cradle of civilizations. It is the historical heritage of the place that has stimulated the 250.000 locals to develop their city and find ways to valorize their past.
The city of Tarsus is, first of all, the birthplace of Apostle Paul, who supposedly was born in the year 8 or 9 AD. In honour of the Apostle in the period from June 2008 to 2009 Tarsus was declared by the Vatican ‘The year of Paul from Tarsus’ and was host of many celebration festivities. The Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew also participated at the festivities which inaugurated the Year of Apostle Paul.
Tarsus is renowned for the Roman vestiges which were unearthed but it is also known for being the place that witnessed the historical meeting between Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. It is the birthplace of Saint Paul it has been the host of many famous philosophers and schools of philosophy, of rhetoric and education, and of the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers. Tarsus was a rich metropolis in the past and still is a vibrant place which enjoys many visitors.
Nowadays Tarsus strives to carry out further archeological researches and make the city well-known for its historical heritage. The local authorities have ambitious projects that involve valorizing its history and turning Tarsus into a world tourist destination.   
               
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TTSO) established in 1879 supports the development and growth of the province of Tarsus. The role of the Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry is to enhance the development of local businesses, commerce and industry. To this end, TTSO focuses on networking businesses, providing training to entrepreneurs, financial support and seeks to create new and innovative business opportunities for its residents.  Presently, TTSO is involved in several European projects, one of which (Patent 4SMES) will create a platform for e-learning/training aimed at teaching the skills and knowledge requested for the IPR management of enterprises. The pilot project, initiated and coordinated by the Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Life Long Learning Program.

Tourism training
Tourism education is delivered at two levels: academic or college training and vocational training, which is random, and is delivered locally. Academic training lasts for two years, while lower level training has a few months duration. The tourism guide training module is a form of vocational training and incorporates 760 hours.   
The Tarsus Tourism Association became engaged in creating a training system that would satisfy the local needs regarding tourism guiding. Going out form the prerequisite that the guides’ training is extremely centralized nationally paying no regard to the local aspects which need to be taught, including archeology, history etc, the association will endeavour to qualify local guides and enable them to present the archeological heritage of the region.

Future collaboration initiatives in the area of tourism training
The representatives of the Centre for Tourism Training from the University Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Dr Silvia IRIMIEA and dr Mirela ALBULESCU were received by the President of the Tarsus CCI. They had also talks with the representatives of the Tarsus Tourism Association. The discussions of the problems faced by the institutions involved, the Centre for Tourism Training and the Tarsus Tourism Association, highlighted the similarities of the two training systems and set out the premises for a future collaboration in the area of tourism guiding. However, further analysis of the two systems is necessary before any initiative is put forward.  

 
     
 
Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca
 
Leonardo da Vinci Projects
Facultatea de Geografie
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