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Letter from Project Manager

This vocational training curriculum is designed complement the existing academic programs available from the Bethlehem University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism and is specifically for the Palestinian tourism industry workforce of today and tomorrow. It is Bethlehem University’s commitment to help the development in tourism - one of the most promising industries for the economy and for the future employment prospects of young Palestinians.

The project was funded by USAID and administered through Compete.  Many were involved in its development including substantial input from collaborators at Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island, USA and the College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines.  Visits to both establishments by key Bethlehem University faculty and conversely workshops, consultations, meetings held in Bethlehem and attended or facilitated by experts from both international establishments enabled the local tourism industry leaders and Bethlehem University faculty to engage fully with the project as it was conceived and developed.

Going forward the three prong strategy is simple but challenging.  First, it is now important to identify and train industry experts who can take on leadership training roles in collaborative training projects in their communities throughout Palestine.  Second, it is then important for Bethlehem University to support the respective Palestinian Authority ministries as they seek to introduce a credential and quality assurance framework for the training.  Ensuring the training modules are taught to a high standard is vital as is recognizing students through a seamless system of national credentials through Certificate, Diploma, Degree and Masters levels.  Finally it is important to provide students, trainers and academics with world-class training facilities and this is what is envisaged for the far-reaching developments of the Bethlehem University Mount David site. Here will be an iconic training institute with training hotel, training restaurant and training cultural centre. A thriving institute providing academic and vocational training with a strong research culture and a commitment to providing sustained leadership in training the tourism industry front-line staff and entrepreneurial leaders of the future will ensure this industry has the development capacity it requires.

This project is the outcome of the effort of many.  I thank in particular Mr Ali Abu Srour, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism and his staff, Mr Ghassan Al Jamal of USAID , Mr Zeid Wahbeh and Mr Mohammad Taweel of Compete who always gave excellent guidance and the Bethlehem University team, including Mr Nabil Al Mufdi, Director of the Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism and his faculty, Dr Rabab Tamish of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Bethlehem University,  Mr. Jehad Najajreh  who designed the Website , our administration team of Rania Hazboun and Luda Mustafa and our international experts – Master Chef Karl Guggenmos and Dr Veera Gaul from Rhode Island and Mrs Letti Delarmente and Messrs Gil Acuna and Geronio Ulayao of St Benilde in Manila.

Chris Faisandier
Project Manager
Tuesday, 28 October 2014



Hassan Costantini
Manager of Planning & Business
Phone: (+970) 2 2741241 ext 2430



Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine
Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA