Cambridge Chronicle s/x1577093566/Cambridge-Armenian-sister-city-group -to-attend-training-program
Sept 2 2008

On Sept.15, the Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA) will
welcome a group of 10 professional tourism educators from Yerevan,
Armenia, for a three-week training program aimed at enhancing tourism
in Armenia. The program has been developed jointly by CYSCA and
Middlesex Community College. Included in the group are educators
from various universities and institutes in Yerevan involved in
teaching tourism.

Despite the historical heritage and natural beauty of Armenia as
a tourist attraction, the quality of tourism services needs to be
upgraded to achieve world-class level. The economic potential for
tourism is great for Armenia, but the training of tourism specialists
is left to a few educators, many of whom lack practical experience
in international standards and norms expected by tourists.

The training program, developed with Prof. Barbara Dexter-Smith of MCC,
will include meetings with tourism faculty members at area colleges
and universities that will involve seminars, roundtable discussions,
talks and hands-on training covering specific objectives of the
program. These include such topics as teaching methods, lesson
planning, cooperation with the private sector, human resource
management, international cooperation, promotion, market research,
international tourism norms/standards, cultural tourism, ecological
tourism, excursions/tours, ethics/behavior, organizing scientific
forums/conferences, and others.

The program also has cultural component. Participants will be exposed
to American history, culture, values and everyday life as they visit
historic and cultural sites in Greater Boston. Home-stays will be
provided by volunteer host families.

The tourism educators will present a panel discussion, "Tourism in
Armenia: Challenges and Opportunities," Sunday, Sept. 28, from 3
to 5 p.m. in the Armenian Library and Museum of America at 65 Main
St. in Watertown. The moderator will be Barbara Dexter-Smith of
Middlesex Community College. Co-sponsors are CYSCA and the Armenian
Library and Museum of America. For more information, call the museum
at 617-926-2562.