2 December 2012

Ethiopia: Local Tourism College Gets Int'l Recognition

Abdulfetah Temam Abdellah (ATA)Tourism College, a new college that has just started registering its first students, has become the first in Ethiopia to be an Authorized Training Center (ATC) partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to certify up to 1,000 trainees per year on travel & tourism and aviation industry, with international recognition.

IATA approved ATA Tourism College, which was established as a plc in 2012, to provide airline marketing, airline customer service, airport operations, introduction to the airline industry, GDS (Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre) Fares and Ticketing, airline cabin crew training and aviation security awareness courses.

IATA, which represents 240 airlines with 84pc of the global air traffic, will provide the college with materials including curriculum, modules, textbooks and teaching aids, in addition to proctoring final exams for graduating trainees with its own instructors at the end of their four- term program, according to Gezahegn Biru, academic dean of the college. The prospective graduates will sit for the international exam after passing the Ethiopian Certificate of Competency (COC) examination.

The college is also licensed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to accept trainees for the front office, tour guiding, tour operation and tourism management up to level four under the Technical and Vocational Education Teaching (TVET) curriculum.

"We have been dealing with IATA for the past three years," said Abdulfetah Temam, chief executive director of the college.

The college authorization needs to be renewed every year, according to IATA.

Trainees are expected to have the Ethiopian ECLCE certificate and to take entrance exams in Geography, Mathematics and English in order to register at the college. It takes six months to get a certificate and 10 months for a diploma, said Gezahegn.

Students were observed registering at the college in front of Zemen Bank alongTito Street, paying 2,000 Br a month.

The college, established with a capital of 200,000 Br, will link its graduates with international and domestic travel agencies, tour companies, hotels and rental service providers for employment, says Abdulfetah. He says the college could open branches in other tourist destinations inEthiopia.

According to 2010 data from the Culture and Tourism Bureau of Addis Abeba, the sector employed 46,700 people in Addis Abeba, only 3,010 of which are trained in the field - 322 of them have degrees while the rest hold diplomas and certificates. The sector employs 4891 people, who have graduated in other fields.

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