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Agreement bolsters Emirate’s training initiatives

ADTA signs MoU with University of Hawaii

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), the apex body which manages the emirate’s tourism industry, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management (TIM) – one of the world’s most respected institutions for hospitality and tourism management study.

The move is the latest initiative in ADTA’s pursuit of maintaining the destination of distinction’s leadership position and safeguarding Abu Dhabi’s future appeal in the competitive global market.

Under the agreement, ADTA and the TIM School will collaborate in a number of core areas, including: training and assessment of ADTA staff to receive a joint Abu Dhabi -TIM Training Certificate of Achievement in Tourism (ATCAT); training and development of Abu Dhabi industry stakeholders; ADTA’s support of TIM School’s Executive Development Institute for Tourism Program (EDIT) via staff enrolment; research collaboration in selected topics and sharing of best practices.

The MoU was signed between Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, ADTA and Frank Hass, Director for Strategic Development and a Senior Instructor at TIM School.

“This is another important step forward for the emirate’s dynamic tourism development proposition, and underlines our commitment to identifying and entering into world-class partnerships with industry leaders to further Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a globally sought-after destination,” said Ahmed Hussein.

“Through the investment and development of key stakeholders and future generations, we ensure the preservation of the founding principles that made Abu Dhabi into one of the world’s leading emerging destinations, and ensure we provide the framework for its continued growth.”

Agreement delivery began this week with the TIM School hosting a two-day workshop for ADTA staff. Widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of integrating all aspects of the tourism industry into a single study programme, the TIM School session covered a wide-range of topics from transportation and tourism management to sustainable tourism practices and product development.

In addition, ADTA staged a free-to-attend ‘Leadership in Tourism’ workshop in partnership with the TIM School for all tourism industry professionals and decision makers in the UAE capital.

The workshop explored best practices of leading edge destinations, introduced principles and practices to keep a destination innovative and engaging, and covered a range of activities aimed at sustaining Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness in the years to come, including research, work force development, service delivery and branding and positioning.

Pauline Sheldon, Professor of Tourism at TIM School, said the agreement would equip ADTA staff and their industry counterparts with the vital tools needed to secure Abu Dhabi’s place in an increasingly competitive global tourism marketplace.

“As we embark on this new venture, we are very aware that it exemplifies the very essence of tourism, in the exchange of knowledge, ideas and cultural values,” she said. “The tourism industry is a global phenomenon in which seismic shifts in the economic, socio-cultural and environmental domains challenge us. To meet these challenges and accommodate the visitor and destination needs of the future, the focus must shift from simple business to one that includes more sophisticated models of service quality and the increasingly important principles of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

“Abu Dhabi and Hawaii share these tourism development ideas, and our mutual commitment to knowledge sharing and dissemination is indeed a strong foundation upon which to build.”

This new MoU follows hard on the heels of a similar understanding reached recently between ADTA and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) to collaborate on the rolling-out of educational strategies aimed at honing Abu Dhabi’s ability to engage the rapidly emerging Asian and Chinese outbound markets.

The agreements are part of a long-term ADTA industry-wide professional development and training strategy aimed at giving the destination a distinct competitive edge.

The three-pronged training strategy will engage all industry sectors, with business tourism being a main beneficiary.

“Our professional development and training initiatives for the tourism sector are being taken to build long-term destination competitiveness which we believe depends, particularly within the MICE market, on consistent delivery of world-class service standards by a human resource pool of well-trained, committed and dedicated professionals,” said Ahmed Hussein.

Abu Dhabi is prioritising business tourism viewing it as the industry’s most lucrative segment, with wide-ranging impact on local economic and social growth. The wider business tourism sector currently accounts for around 80% of the emirate’s hotel guest profile – with 10% of this directly attributable to meetings, conferences and exhibitions.

The emirate has invested heavily in ADNEC. Expansion of the centre’s exhibition and conference facilities was completed recently, resulting in the Middle East’s largest exhibition and conference centre with 73,000 square metres of exhibition space.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.