In 2021, the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO) announced the launch of the “Tourism Online Academy” ( a new certification system based on open badges for tour operators. The goal was to improve the quality of the offered tourist services and to increase the competitiveness of the sector.

The World Tourism Organization jointly with IE (Instituto de Empresa) University, a renowned Spanish private academic institution, created an online learning platform to provide access to 32 self-paced training courses for tourism sector operators around the world, with the possibility of acquiring internationally recognized badges and certificates.

These courses mainly focus on concepts, areas of interest and fundamental principles related to the tourism sector, addressing impelling challenges such as globalization, digitalization, travel marketing, and travel sustainability. Through the offered programs, participants will acquire managerial skills in digital marketing, finance, strategy, operations, innovation and digital transformation.

On this platform, a high-quality learning experience is available for everyone who want to improve or extend their current skills in order to adapt to the tourism evolving sector. Being online, these flexible courses allow participants to reconcile academic, professional and life commitments.

Among other courses, an example is the online free MOOC based 20 hours – 4 weeks course about “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Hospitality: Challenges & Business Opportunities”, supported by the Swiss Education Group AG with its Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) hospitality school, which will help the learners to acquire tools and know-how useful to open the potential of AI and amplify their business.

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