Posted on September 11, 2019

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary-General Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, attended the 23rdsession of the UNWTO General Assembly from 9 – 13 September 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where His Excellency Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), officially launched the world's first digital tourism academy.

The initiative is a collaboration between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and IE University, with QNTC as the founding destination partner.

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In his address during the first Plenary Session on 11th September, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker discussed  the importance of tourism to the global economy, and highlighted Qatar’s initiatives in partnership with UNWTO.  H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “As we continue to develop our own tourism sector in Qatar, we believe training and education go a long way towards enhancing the sector. We are pleased to support UNWTO in developing and delivering programmes for professionals in the Travel and Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Management fields.”

The online platform for the Academy was published following the launch. The online platform will provide professionals with high quality education and training in the Travel and Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Management fields. The initiative will provide easily accessible and exhaustive training in the tourism sector, which provides one in ten jobs globally. The Academy’s curriculum will cover strategy management, operations management, marketing management, finance fundamentals, as well as technology and innovation management.

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Mr. William Davila, Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University and His Excellency Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili visited Qatar in April this year, where they signed numerous partnerships with QNTC to develop tourism in Qatar as well as globally. As a United Nations agency, UNWTO is in charge of promoting 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.