Over forty executives from public and private organizations in Qatar completed a course this week organized by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and conducted by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on developing human capital in the tourism sector.
Participants benefited from the joint expertise of the UNWTO, Themis Foundation and George Washington University. The course examined key concepts, processes and best practices in developing tourism professionals and service providers, based on lessons learned internationally and throughout the MENA region.
Tourism currently provides one out of eleven jobs globally, making its potential to create jobs and boost employment a “key aspect to the sector,” said Mr. Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA. “The development of human capital in tourism is crucial for the sustainability of a destination, as only professionals with the right knowledge, skills and attitude can develop, manage and deliver competitive tourism products and experiences.”
Al Ibrahim added that tourism employment delivers long-term social and economic benefits to countries, as it opens opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.
The course provided a platform for participants to examine successful policies, guidelines, and strategies for tourism human capital development.
“I learned a lot about the education and capacity building tools Qatar needs in order to achieve its strategy and attract tourists from all over the world,” commented Hussein Al Khalaf, Head of Training at the Ministry of Economy and Trade. “We have a lot of work ahead of us and I am grateful for this course and the team that organized it.”
“I am in Qatar conducting a study on how to develop and train tourist guides for the UN World Tourism Organization, and I found these sessions extremely helpful as all the best practices available in the world are here under one roof,” said Ayyad Ayyad, of One Tourism DMC in Dubai.
The course is part of a program which includes several modules a year delivered by UNWTO, Josoor Institute, the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in association with QTA. Through the educational program, QTA aims to enhance the skills of the tourism professionals in Qatar, as well as positioning Qatar as the regional hub for tourism education in the Gulf. Over the past year QTA and its partners have jointly trained close to 500 industry professionals from across the region.
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