The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) co-organised a high-level design thinking session on the heels of the Doha Forum, a global platform that promotes the interchange of ideas, discourse, policy making, and action-oriented dialogue.
This session brought together more than 30 relevant experts from the public and private sectors, including international and non-profit organisations, funding agencies, entrepreneurs, and research and innovation centres.
Princess Dana Firas of Jordan joins experts at a high-level design thinking session
Experts from the public and private sectors discussing various topics at a session
Discussions focused on generating innovative, actionable proposals and establishing commitments for continued collaboration and implementation. Princess Dana Firas of Jordan joined the afternoon session of the workshop to provide feedback on the generated projects during presentations.
The proposals included initiatives to empower local communities, make travel accessible for all, provide educational opportunities in the tourism field, as well as develop ecologically sustainable models.
The design thinking session followed on the participation of UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and QNTC Secretary General and Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker at the plenary session: “Protecting the Benefits of Tourism in a Multilateral World,” which convened state leaders to explore what can be done through collaboration to reduce the negative impacts of conflict on travel and tourism and to bolster tourism as a driver of peace.
“Tourism is an important sector not only in terms of tangible economic impact, but also for building bridges of understanding between peoples and changing deeply-rooted misperceptions. We are proud of the role tourism and aviation have played in creating more awareness and understanding of our country, and of the policy of openness which has made us the most welcoming country in the Middle East,” HE al-Baker said.
“We are pleased to see the dialogue on tourism take its rightful place on the global agenda, and to share these important insights from the Middle East with our counterparts around the world through the wide-reaching Doha Forum platform,” he added.
Pololikashvili discussed how “education is one of my main priorities. Thanks to the Tourism Online Academy, a joint initiative between UNWTO and IE University, we would have the opportunity to train, democratise and scale the way people are educated regarding the tourism sector. Our vision is to provide global opportunities to people who are interested in the tourism sector and address the gap between jobs, skills and education.”
In the spirit of global tourism solutions, QNTC recently became the Destination Partner of the UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, the first initiative supported by UN that aims to democratise and professionalise tourism education and capacity building.
Since the launch of the first Massive Open Online Course in November, the platform is already shaping the minds of over 1500 tourism professionals.
Today, UNWTO proudly presents the first Online Certificate Programme by First Academic Partner IE University, focused on the Fundamentals of Tourism-Industry Management.