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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      University of Rijeka, Croatia, is New Educational Institute Global Academic Program (GAP) Partner School

      Orlando, Florida, February 2012-The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) has signed a Global Academic Program (GAP) agreement with the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Rijeka in Opatija, Croatia.

      As a participant in EI's Global Academic Program, the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Rijeka will work to advance hospitality education and training by offering the Educational Institute's five-course Certificate of Specialization to its students.

      "By signing the agreement with the Educational Institute, the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management has gained access to an extremely valuable set of resources that our staff will be able to use in their teaching, and our students will greatly benefit from the possibility of obtaining the EI certificate, along with their Faculty degree," said Professor Dr. Joze Peric, dean of the program.

      Professor Dr. Sandra Jankovic, vice dean for international cooperation, added, "By obtaining the EI certificate, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management students will not only acquire a greater level of knowledge and skills, but this will also enhance their chances on the global tourism labour market."

      Tourism is one of the main driving forces of the Croatian economy, according to a recent article at HotelNewsNow.com. Hospitality and tourism generate 13 percent of the country's gross domestic product, and Croatia is becoming a popular travel destination. The education and training of employees for the country's growing tourism industry is a key need, which is being addressed by the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management's partnership with the Educational Institute.

      "EI's existing hospitality association agreement with the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality (UPUHH) will be further strengthened with this new Global Academic Partnership. Students at the FTHM will not only be able to earn their EI certificate but also directly apply what they learned to the Croatian hotel industry, helping the country further increase its guest service standards and tourism competitiveness," commented John Lohr, EI's international consultant.

      "UPUHH as the National Association of Hoteliers and FTHM cooperate very intensively on projects of education and creating an intelligent business environment in the Croatian tourism," stated UPUHH president Kristian Sustar.

      About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
      Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’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 train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

      Elizabeth Johnson - ejohnson@ahla.com

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