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Orlando, Florida, August 2013-The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) has signed a partnership agreement with Information Technology Services, a training and consulting firm serving the hospitality industry in Tunisia. The company's founder and director is Abdel Zouari, CHA, CHT, a long-time proponent of the Educational Institute's education, training, and professional certification programs. 

Zouari is a hospitality industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience as a general manager, regional director, vice president of operations, and training consultant at resorts in the Caribbean, United States, and Europe, including Club Med, Allegro Resorts, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, Orlando Sun Resort and Convention Center by Lexington, and Dolce Hotel & Resort. 

He earned EI's Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding Distance Learning Student in 2001, having completed five Areas of Specialization and the 12-course Hospitality Management Diploma offered by the Educational Institute. A self-proclaimed "EI believer," Zouari has encouraged staff to pursue EI's courses, training, and professional certification programs at every property with which he has been associated.  

"EI is not another training franchise, it is not another institute, but it is the experience of what is best in the world," said Zouari.  "My dedication to education and my belief in what EI brought to me as a leader in the hospitality industry during the past 15 years has given me confidence to transmit this knowledge and energy to others. Many hotels have good beaches and nice rooms, but the main ingredient is people. If owners and general managers put training first, then success is guaranteed."  

Tunisia is a north African country bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is known for its golden beaches, sunny weather, and affordable luxuries. It welcomes 6 to 7 million tourists each year, and tourism contributes nearly $1.5 billion to the economy.  In recent years, ecotourism, medical tourism, and spas have become a significant part of Tunisia's tourism scene.  Other key tourist attractions include the capital city of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, and the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Djerba. 

Ed Kastli, EI's vice president, international sales, expressed his satisfaction with this new partnership. "Being originally from Tunisia, I am sincerely thrilled to see us have a partnership there in the company and person of a long-time supporter of EI, Mr. Abdel Zouari, who certainly has the background and expertise to represent us well in this major tourism market. Mr. Zouari has a sincere passion for hospitality and I am confident he will be able to achieve his vision and give back to his country," he said.

About 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 certifyhospitality professionals worldwide.

Contact: Elizabeth Johnson, Senior Public Relations & Marketing Manager

ejohnson@ahla.com / 517-318-2359

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