Azerbaijan has the potential to attract a large number of international tourists with multiple attributes creating an enabling environment for developing its tourism industry more broadly. Indeed, tourism is increasingly becoming an important part of Azerbaijan’s economy. The United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan launched the “Capacity Building of the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University” Project in May 2015 for strengthening the institutional capacities of the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University (ATMU) through infrastructural upgrade, enhancement of skills of academic staff, curriculum and training courses enhancement, exposure of international experience in management and support to the faculty of Tourism and Hospitality in obtaining the UNWTO TedQual Certificationthe. As the Ministry of tourism was abolished with a new State Tourism Agency brought to life on April 2018, the UNDP signed a revision to the project to cooperate with this new ministry on implementation of activities aimed to support the ATMU in obtaining the UNWTO TedQual Certification and ensure the economy’s competitiveness, inclusion and increased social welfare based on sustainable economic development in Azerbaijan. The cooperation of UNDP and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the field of tourism development started in 2004 and since then a number of successful projects have been implemented.
Project objective in 2015-2018
Since May 2015, following activities were implemented:
- Training course on Corporate Consultancy for the ATMU staff delivered. Seventeen participants from the Department of Management, Department of Economics and Department of International Relations attended the training sessions.
- Modern manuals on tourism and management published by Pearson purchased and handed over to the ATMU 4
- Video tutorials for guides developed.
- Organise a professional training course for tourism industry personnel (for guides, receptionists, waiters/bartenders) jointly with DAIR Hotels and Restaurants Association, in November 2015 – February 2016. Besides, training courses on psychology, ethics, aesthetics, English and Russian Languages were also organized.
- Preparation and submission of the recommendations for the ATMU Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
- Sugnature of the agreement on Implementation of the UNWTO.TedQual Pre-Audit for the UNWTO.TedQual Certification between UNDP and UNWTO Themis Foundation.
Following the Presidential elections, the new State Tourism Agency was established and it was agreed to resume the Project aimed to implement the UNWTO.TedQual Pre-Audit recommendations and provide support to the ATMU in obtaining the UNWTO TedQual Certification.
The UNWTO.TedQual Programme offers advantages and benefits to the Institutions that have obtained the UNWTO.TedQual Certification:
- A unique certification in that it is the only international quality certification issued by UNWTO for higher tourism education, training and research programmes.
- Allow privileged use of the UNWTO.TedQual logo on official stationery, promotional materials and documents accrediting the Programme.
- Entail international promotion of the Institution and its programmes through UNWTO’s various communication tools and mechanisms.
- Be part of the UNWTO.TedQual Network – a platform where Institutions share knowledge, good practices and technical support.
Benefits from acquiring the UNWTO TedQual Exchange Programme 5
- Internship opportunities for students and professors at UNWTO.TedQual Institutions and at the UNWTO.Themis Foundation;
- Scholarship opportunities for the “Tourism and International Cooperation for Development” university course;
- Participation in joint research projects;
- Participation, as editor/author, in the UNWTO.TedQual Publications (Magazine, etc.);
- Participation in the UNWTO.TedQual Worldwide annual event;
- Support from UNWTO (Participation and dissemination of information) for the organization and holding of conferences and other activities carried out by members of the UNWTO.TedQual Network.
Objective of the substantive revision:
- Support the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality of the ATMU University in obtaining the UNWTO TedQual Certification.
- Empowerment of marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced to basic services, to build productive capacities and to benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs.
- The project will directly contribute to Azerbaijan’s national development policy, the “Azerbaijan 2020: Look into the Future” (“Vision 2020”).
- Serve the national priorities on “the improvement of economic structure and the development of non-oil sector” and help strengthening a modern education system in Azerbaijan.
- The project is also in alignment with the “Strategic Road Maps for the national economy and main economic sectors” focusing on enhancement of the national tourism education according to international standards, including international certification.
- The Project corresponds to SDG target 4.3 “By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”.
- Preparation of the ATMU self-evaluation report.
- Establishment of the E-University system for the ATMU.
- Development of the new teaching methodologies and enhancement of the evaluation system.
- Translation of required international manuals to Azerbaijani language.
- Development of the new website for the ATMU.
- Enhancement of the quality assurance system.
- Facilitate the conduct of the TedQual audit of the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality of the ATMU for further certification.