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UNWTO launches world’s first digital tourism academy

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The online tourism course will provide professionals with easy access to high-quality education and training in travel and tourism, hospitality and destination management.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has launched the world’s first digital tourism academy in partnership with Spain’s IE University and the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).

The collaboration was announced in St Petersburg on Wednesday and the UNWTO’s 23rd General Assembly. The whole event focused on the importance of tourism on the global economy and, as the hosts, Qatar was eager to highlight their contribution, not only in growing their own tourism sector but for expanding education in the industry.

“As we continue to develop our own tourism sector in Qatar, we believe training and education go a long way towards enhancing the sector,” said Secretary-General of QNTC and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar al-Baker, said at the event.

“We are pleased to support UNWTO in developing and delivering programmes for professionals in the travel and tourism, hospitality and destination management fields.”

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The online tourism course will provide professionals with easy access to high-quality education and training in travel and tourism, hospitality and destination management. The curriculum will cover everything you need to know to enter into the industry, including strategy management, operations management, marketing management, finance fundamentals, as well as technology and innovation management.

The driving motive behind the academy is to help more people transition into a job in tourism – a sector that provides one in 10 jobs globally and has a huge impact on a country’s livelihood.

Take a tiny island nation like the Maldives. Tourism accounts for nearly 40 percent of all employment here providing livelihoods for thousands. Or a landlocked Himalayan kingdom like Bhutan. Tourism arrivals to Bhutan have risen from around 20,000 a year to nearly 160,000 in the last seven years, bringing over 30,000 new jobs to far flung places.

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The online tourism course academy will benefit from UNWTOs 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.

When the agreement to set up the academy was signed back in April, the Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University, William Davila, said:

“IE University shapes leaders with a global vision and an entrepreneurial mindset to drive innovation and change in organisations. 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.”