Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) became the founding sponsor of the IE University|UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, which was established following a signing ceremony held in Doha. The agreement was signed by Mr. Hassan Al Ibrahim, Assistant Secretary General of Qatar National Tourism Council and Mr. William Davila, Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO).
The online platform will provide professionals with easy access to high quality education and training in the Travel and Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Management fields. The initiative will provide easily accessible and exhaustive training for people seeking a profession in the tourism sector, which provides one in ten jobs globally.
The academy will benefit from UNWTO’s thorough knowledge and expertise in tourism, as well as IE University’s innovative education model. Graduates will receive an IE University | UNWTO Online Tourism Academy certification in Foundations of Management Applied to Tourism. The curriculum will cover strategy management, operations management, marketing management, finance fundamentals, as well as technology and innovation management.
Al Ibrahim commented, “Qatar is constantly striving to be at the cutting-edge of a rapidly and dynamically developing industry. As a government organisation focused on ensuring the best possible experiences to our visitors, QNTC recognises the vital role that tourism education and training institutions play in leading the industry towards competitiveness and sustainability. And, we are pleased to support UNWTO in developing and delivering programs that will enable professionals to meet the tourism labor market needs.”
William Davila, Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University, commented, “IE University shapes leaders with a global vision and an entrepreneurial mindset to drive innovation and change in organizations. The Tourism Online Academy in collaboration with UNWTO, and with the support of QNTC, will create an important impact in the society, supporting the growth of the tourism industry on a global basis. The signing of this agreement is the first step in the creation of the Tourism Online Academy. Many more steps will be taken in the coming months to provide online high-quality training for everyone in this important industry.”
National Tourism Experience Awards
QNTC also announced that the UNWTO is lending its expertise to help develop the Qatar National Tourism Experience Awards programme. The awards programme will recognise businesses, public entities, NGOs, and associations, operating both inside and outside of Qatar and across all sectors, that are directly or indirectly contributing to the delivery of exceptional experiences to Qatar’s visitors.
Al Ibrahim stated, “The awards will be driven by Qatar National Tourism Council, as part of its strategy to place the visitor experience at the heart of tourism development. Our aim is to emphasize that the experiences offered to visitors are not only a result of services or products provided by tourism or hospitality professionals but the result of an array of practices across several industries that span the end-to-end visitor journey.”
UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili said that “these awards are not an end to themselves but rather a motivation to drive excellence in tourism development.” He added that “they will put the spotlight on best practices which will be relevant for Qatar and beyond, given the countries international relevance.”
The development of the award comes shortly after the establishment of a National Tourism Council in Qatar, ushering in a new governance structure for the tourism sector that is built on unity, clarity and synergy.
The new governance model, the global promotion initiative (Qatar…Qurated For You) and the tourism experience award are all key components of a five-year strategy launched in 2017 that focuses on delivering and promoting modern and authentic end-to-end visitor experiences.
The agreements were signed during Mr. Pololikashvili’s first visit to Qatar as UNWTO Secretary General, during which he visited a number of key tourism landmarks with his delegation, including Msheireb Downtown Doha where they learned about the project’s role in preserving Qatari heritage while attracting investments into the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors.
The delegation also visited Qatar National Library, which recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its official opening on 16 April 2018. QNL aims to collect, preserve and make available the country’s recorded history.
Earlier in the visit QNTC signed on to support the first UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-Up Competition, which will be carried out in collaboration with Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB).
The competition aims to promote and strengthen the tourism and sports sectors while enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and boosting innovation in sports tourism.
As a United Nations agency, UNWTO is in charge of the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally-accessible tourism. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development.
Source: Press Release