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UNWTO proposes joint researches with UB

UNWTO proposes joint researches with UB

Dated : 05.10.2017


The United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) wants to partner with the University of Botswana in conducting joint research, especially in the tourism area. UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai made the proposal during a courtesy call on UB Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Kgomotso Moahi, on July 26, 2017.
 
Dr. Rifai told the Acting Vice Chancellor that the UNWTO was ready and open for joint research with UB. “We have a fantastic reservoir of knowledge that we can tap into for this exercise,” said Dr. Rifai.
 
He said UB could also take advantage of the tourism sector’s potential to carve itself a niche and become a training centre of excellence in the sector. That, said Dr. Rifai, could be achieved by creating training programmes that were attractive to young people. On the other hand, UNWTO would offer three to five months exchange programmes each year in Madrid, Spain to selected students from UB.
 
He added that such would not only benefit UB but the whole country given the potential of the tourism industry as a job creator and economic engine of growth. “Botswana can become the centre of excellence in eco-tourism if this is done,” he added.
 
However, Dr. Rifai regretted that many institutions were still to come to grips with the importance of the tourism industry as a potential job creator, hence there was a lot that still needed to be done to create awareness.
 
Compounding the situation was the sad reality of the high dropout rates in that about 60 per cent of employees in the tourism sector ended up quitting due to, among others, poor working conditions and less attractive salaries, said Dr. Rifai.
 
Although such presented itself as a problem, Dr. Rifai, who has been a university lecturer for 20 years, was of the view that it was also an opportunity for UB to champion creation of a better image of the industry through attractive training programmes.
 
In response, Professor Moahi appreciated the idea of advancing training in the tourism sector, arguing that it would not only put UB on the map, but generate the resources Botswana needed as well.
 
Professor Moahi also acknowledged the need to undertake joint researches with UNWTO. She said for such partnerships to work, they had to start at grassroots level while management made sure it created a conducive environment. 
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