USAID Introduces UNWTO.TedQual Certification for BiH Tourism Education

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USAID Economic Development Officer Karl Wurster discusses the new UNWTO.TedQual certification for tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Designation Brings BiH Tourism Education To World-Class Standards

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Drazena Peranic

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 20, 2021 — Tourism education in Bosnia and Herzegovina will move toward world-class standards under a prestigious international certification system that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping bring to higher education institutions.

Through its Developing Sustainable Tourism in BiH (Turizam), USAID launched the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) TedQual Program for Excellence in Tourism Higher Education in BiH. The UN organization promotes globally responsible, sustainable, and accessible tourism and its certification program in BiH will enhance the excellence and efficiency of BiH tourism education to prepare students for their tourism careers.

“BiH’s potential as an international tourism destination is well known but a world class tourism industry can only thrive here if employees are properly trained and able to meet the demands that come with a sustainable industry,” said USAID Mission Director Courtney Chubb. “This prestigious certification program will ensure that the BiH tourism workforce of the future is ready for the challenge.”

An analysis of the tourism industry’s labor needs from 2021-2027 by USAID’s Turizam determined there will be 18,500 additional vacancies in tourism jobs across BiH over the seven years. That means the BiH tourism industry will need more and better qualified employees. The certification program will improve tourism education at three BiH schools so graduating students are prepared to meet the industry’s needs. Turizam will guide the schools to certification under the UN program, which typically takes between six months and a year to complete. 

Omar Valdez, UNWTO Academy Executive Director said that “the TedQual certificate was created with the aim of narrowing the gap between the tourism industry and academia, between the needs of employers in the tourism sector and the graduates created by higher education institutions. By adopting the TedQual certification program, universities in BiH will start creating graduates required by today’s tourism industry. 
Jelena Gavrilović, Head of Department of Tourism and Hospitality of Ministry of Trade and Tourism in RS noted: “I consider the adoption of the TedQual certificate as a very important step in the advancement of the development of human resources in the RS and BiH. With the technical support of the USAID, we are currently working on formulating the RS Tourism Development Strategy 2021-2027, and the analyses we carried out showed that the lack of qualified labor is one of the greatest challenges of the tourism sector.“

“In the name of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, I thank the USAID  on the launched activities targeted at advancing higher education in the field of tourism, entailing technical support to universities in BiH interested in obtaining certification in accordance with the UNWTO TedQual model, aimed at advancing the quality and efficiency of the students’ learning process in order to ease their entry into the labor market”, said Farida Cikotic, FBiH Minister's Assistant for Tourism and Hospitality.

Last updated: August 09, 2022

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