Orlando, Florida (USA) – 19 June 2012 — The Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA), an American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) partner, hosted a ceremony on June 14 at the Jumeira Bilgah Beach Hotel for several hospitality professionals who earned the Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) designation. The new CHTs, who had participated in a train-the-trainer workshop in April in Baku, were presented with their certifications by Mr. Abulfaz Garayev, the Azerbaijan Minister of Tourism.
The new trainers will now work to train and certify line and supervisory employees to develop a quality workforce in hospitality for Azerbaijan. This process is known as the “cascade method” of training, and was developed by the Educational Institute and the Egyptian Tourism Federation as a way to efficiently and effectively train large numbers of qualified hospitality industry employees. Since 2002, Egypt has trained 2,500 trainers and 150,000 front-line employees.
The Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA) was established in 2009 by the help of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and has been an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since July 2011. Its overall goal is to develop the tourism sector in Azerbaijan and to create healthy, strong inbound and outbound tourism. AzTA signed a memorandum of agreement with the Educational Institute in August 2011.
The government of Azerbaijan has set the development of Azerbaijan as an elite tourist destination as a top priority. It is a national strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest, contributor to the Azerbaijani economy. Since the 2000s, Azerbaijan has experienced a high rate of growth in the number of tourist visits and overnight stays. In recent years, Azerbaijan has also become a popular destination for religious, spa, and health care tourism.
About the Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.