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Orlando, Florida, March 2017—The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) through its Executive Secretariat for Integral Development to provide training opportunities that will improve service quality for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises throughout the Americas.

“AHLEI is widely recognized as one of the leading sources of hospitality education, training and professional certification of hotel employees,” stated Richard Campbell, Chief, Culture & Tourism Section, Department of Economic Development, Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, Organization of American States. “We recognize the quality of AHLEI, having worked with them before, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of this agreement.”

From December 2001 through December 2011, the OAS and AHLEI had a project agreement that focused on lodging properties in the Caribbean. The new agreement expands the scope of the agreement throughout the Americas. AHLEI is an associate member of the OAS Inter-American Committee on Tourism and has participated in several OAS tourism-related events, including the Encounters of the Inter-American and Caribbean Network of Small Hotels, and the Inter-American Congress of Ministers and Higher-Level Authorities of Tourism.

“AHLEI has had a long and fruitful relationship with the OAS and we look forward to expanding the scope of our work with them in the Americas to enhance the service quality of the hospitality and tourism industry at all levels,” stated Ed Kastli, AHLEI’s vice president, international sales.

Through the MOU, the OAS will promote the use of AHLEI products to small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMEs), offering a 20 percent discount to tourism SMEs in its members.  AHLEI will also work with the OAS to develop new training resources targeted to small hotels.

“There is a need to improve the tourism product and service quality provided by small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, such as hotels as a way of enhancing their competitiveness,” said Campbell.  “Access to training is an issue that continues to plague them; high employee turnover and lack of resources affect levels of quality and service throughout the Americas. By utilizing already-existing training from AHLEI, we can support these enterprises and provide the means for them to enhance their competitiveness.”

Campbell added, “We are very proud of this agreement and look forward to executing it.  We already have a strong history of engagement with AHLEI. This agreement makes a further seal to bind that relationship even tighter going forward.” 

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Established in 1953 as the nonprofit education and training arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), AHLEI’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 educate, develop, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

Contact: Elizabeth Johnson, Marketing and Communications Manager

ejohnson@ahla.com / +1.517.318.2359

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