UNWTO launches world’s first digital tourism academy
September 11 2019 10:34 PM
HE Akbar al-Baker speaking at the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly in St Petersburg.
HE Akbar al-Baker speaking at the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly in St Petersburg.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has launched the world's first digital tourism academy in St Petersburg at UNWTO’s 23rd General Assembly.
UNWTO secretary-general HE Zurab Pololikashvili led the official launch of the initiative in collaboration with IE University and Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) as the founding destination partner.
The event, which started on September 9 and concludes Friday, was attended by HE Akbar al-Baker, secretary-general of QNTC and Qatar Airways Group chief executive.
In his speech at the first Plenary Session Wednesday, al-Baker discussed the importance of tourism to the global economy, and highlighted Qatar’s initiatives in partnership with UNWTO.
“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,” he said.
The online platform for the Academy was published following the launch.
It 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 10 jobs globally.
The Academy’s curriculum will cover strategy management, operations management, marketing management, finance fundamentals, as well as technology and innovation management.
William Davila, global director of Corporate Relations at IE University and Pololikashvili visited Qatar in April this year, signing numerous partnerships with QNTC to develop tourism in Qatar, as well as globally.
As a UN 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.



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