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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Academic Agreement Expands EI Presence in Latin America

      Orlando, Florida, December 2011 - The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) and the Pan-American Confederation of Hospitality and Tourism Schools (CONPEHT) have established a mutual academic collaboration agreement to provide professional development for hospitality educators and access to the latest hospitality management courses and resources for CONPEHT's member schools.

      CONPEHT was founded in 1991 in Mexico City by Miguel Torruco Marquez, CONPEHT's president for life. The Confederation is composed of more than 120 academic institutions offering university-level degrees in the hospitality and tourism fields from 19 Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela; along with the United States of America and Spain.

      "As Vice President for the Caribbean Region of CONPEHT, and in representation of the Professional Hotel and Restaurant School of Administration of the University of Puerto Rico, I am extremely excited about the Academic Collaboration Agreement signed by our Confederation (CONPEHT) and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute that took place at the XXI CONPEHT Annual Congress in El Salvador during the week of October 25," stated Professor Paul A. Rivera. "With this joint academic venture, I'm looking forward to further contributions that will enable us to achieve a better hospitality and tourism education for our Latin American countries, the United States of America, and Spain."

      One of the initial goals of the agreement will be to promote the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) professional certification to CONPEHT members. The CHE is the premier designation for those who teach hospitality management at the post-secondary level. The two organizations also plan to present a series of specialized "Super Seminars" focusing on hospitality and tourism disciplines throughout South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and Spain. Jaime Mesia, EI's managing director for Latin America, will work closely with CONPEHT members to develop academic programs to benefit the group's membership.

      For more information on EI's global initiatives, please call 407-999-8100, or visit http://www.ahlei.org/international.

      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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