The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Online Tourism Academy officially launches this week, during the  23rd UNWTO General Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia.  

Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar Al Baker, who was attending the 23rd session of the UNWTO General Assembly, was there during the launch. HE Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO officially launched the world’s first digital tourism academy. The initiative is a collaboration between UNWTO and IE University, with QNTC as the founding destination partner.

In his address during the first Plenary Session, HE Akbar Al Baker discussed  the importance of tourism to the global economy, and highlighted Qatar’s initiatives that are 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 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.

William Davila, Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University and HE Zurab Pololikashvili visited Qatar in April this year and 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.

For updates and more information about the newly-launched tourism academy, visit