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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Australian Tourism Group Announces Agreement with Educational Institute

      December 2011-The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) will play a role in the success of the newly-launched Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), which has announced a five year strategic plan that aims to see its members implement the new Star Rating and receive TQUAL accreditation, as well as expanding their professional development opportunities.

      TAA managing director Rodger Powell said the Group will not only aim to handle political persuasions on behalf of its members but also focus on improving their profiles with recognized education programs and offices in every capital city.

      "Our new partnership with AAAT Star Ratings will provide convenience for accommodation operators who will be able to get both their star rating and TQUAL accreditation completed by one inspector on one visit. This is all about improving supply-side quality in the Australian market," Powell explained.

      The Group also said they had signed an exclusive arrangement with American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute to be the provider of their extensive hospitality, education and training packages throughout the region.

      "Our exclusive contract with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute includes the internationally recognized Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) program, which has 15,000 designees in the USA and Europe and is available in 70 countries," Powell added. "This will provide Australian employees with internationally-recognized qualifications that are transferrable from one job to another."

      "The Educational Institute is pleased to be working with Tourism Accommodation Australia to address the professional development needs of the lodging industry in Australia through a number of initiatives, including the CHA," said Robert L. Steele III, CHA, president and COO of the Educational Institute. "The CHA is recognized globally as the most prestigious certification available to hotel general managers and hospitality executives. Preparation for the CHA provides general managers with a targeted professional development experience that focuses on the areas of hospitality management that they use most in their profession, including leadership, financial management, human resources, sales and marketing, and operations. The Educational Institute and TAA are customizing the CHA and other professional development programs to meet Australian-specific needs, which retaining global relevance."

      Currently TAA members include Starwood, Rydges, Marriott, Hilton, Stamford, Rendezvous, Hyatt and Radisson as well as hotels from the Accor, IHG, Constellation, Mirvac and Choice brands.

      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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