Welcome from the President of the University of Andorra

On behalf of the University of Andorra it is my pleasure to present the Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management, a project in conjunction with the United Nations World Tourism Organization-Themis Foundation and Pallarsactiu (a limited partnership dedicated to promoting economical growth in Pallars region, Catalonia-Spain). This program also incorporates transfer coursework from Colorado State University.

Located in the Pyrenees, the Principality of Andorra is a top mountain destination in Europe, attracting over two million tourists and nearly eight million visitors overall from around the world each year. Like many mountain destinations, our economy and livelihood depend on our ability to provide quality tourism services, improve sustainability and remain competitive.

The University of Andorra is a public institution created in 1997 and its mission is to provide a quality response to the necessities of Andorran society in regards to higher education and research. We are innovative in our teaching and training styles, and we focus on the student as a whole, promoting lifelong learning of both attitudes and aptitudes. We pride ourselves on our participatory approach to research and learning, and the way we encourage our students to actively engage in debate with an independent and critical spirit. We value personal attention, social responsibility, the vocation of service to society, quality, knowledge, entrepreneurship, teamwork, and interaction with economic and social agents.

Openness to the world is a priority at the University of Andorra, an institution fully integrated in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and in the European Research Area (ERA). Currently, it is part of the Xarxa Vives d’Universitats (Vives Network of Universities), a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), a member of the European University Association (EUA), and a member of the Francophone University Association (AUF). Additionally, it has signed collaborative agreements with different universities all over the world.

The objective of the Postgraduate in Mountain Destination Management is to provide students and professionals the knowledge and training they need to successfully meet the unique demands of the mountain tourism industry.

The programme’s international perspective and blended learning format ensure a uniquely diverse student body and an intellectually stimulating course of study. Graduates of our programmes will be equipped with the skills and abilities to become successful and effective leaders in a rapidly evolving and growing industry.

I invite you to explore our website and learn more about our programmes, and I look forward to welcoming you to our university community in the future.

Mr. Miquel Nicolau i Vila
President of the University of Andorra


Foreword Message from the Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Tourism is today one of the leading socio-economic sectors in the world, yet more importantly, tourism is transforming the lives of millions of people worldwide.

For many mountain destinations, tourism has become a key sector driving the socioeconomic growth and development of local communities. Mountain areas often face important constraints for their development, including harsh climate conditions, vulnerability to natural disasters and challenges of infrastructure development, remoteness and accessibility.

Taking intoconsideration the significant number of emerging mountain destinations in different parts of the world we have to face challenges that may impede economic activities and industrial production in mountain regions. In this context, tourism offers an important potential to uplift local communities and stimulate economic growth in mountain destinations, being a labour intensive sector with high multiplier effects.

Tourism is a people’s sector, thus investing in human capital, is at the heart of the competitive and sustainable development of the sector.

I trust that this Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management, an initiative of the University of Andorra and the UNWTO. Themis Foundation with the support of Colorado State University, will be an invaluable tool to advance mountain tourism as an effective means to promote social, economic and environmental development in mountain destinations across the world.

2017 is going to be a very important year for all of us who are part of this sector. The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs. Therefore, I am pleased to invite you all to spread this important message.

Dear students, you should be proud of yourselves for contributing to this important global movement. As future leaders of tourism, we should all work together towards transforming the power of tourism into a genuine force for good. We are all part of a transformative movement that can affect real and positive change in the world.

Taleb Rifai

Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


Foreword Message from the Minister of Tourism and Trade of Andorra

On behalf of the Government of Andorra, it is a pleasure to present the Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain  Destination Management.

This postgraduate programme is the result of cooperation between the Universitat d’Andorra, PallarsActiu and UNWTO.Themis Foundation, with the support of Colorado State University.

UNWTO.Themis Foundation, for which I have the honour of being a patron, was created in the Principality of Andorra in 1998, and is responsible for implementing the WTO´s work programme on education and training.

The Ministry of Tourism and Trade has made a firm commitment to training in matters related to the tourism sector, as we are aware of the great potential for our country in this area.

The implementation of this postgraduate programme adds to the Master in Tourism Destination Management, which was developed in conjunction with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), and has been offered since 2004.  Furthermore, this year we have actively participated in a part of the Miro Master in Cultural Tourism. Additionally, we are consolidating and promoting continuous training in the tourism sector, prioritizing actions initiated by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, and taking advantage of the opening of centres such as Vatel Andorra.

In an extremely competitive international context, we must prioritize the continued improvement of quality and excellence of our tourism offerings, as well as adopt the appropriate policies and marketing strategies in order to compete as equals with other destinations.

To achieve this, it is essential that we encourage training content specific to mountain destinations, such as those proposed in this new Postgraduate Diploma. We need to know how to instil in mountain destination professionals, a broad view of the sector, and give them the tools to manage our destinations in an appropriate and integral way.

Our objective as an institution, now that we have exceeded the figure of 8 million visitors, is to continue growing, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively, with the goal of becoming an attractive destination 365 days a year.

I am certain that this Postgraduate Diploma will be a very valuable tool for professionals in the public and private sectors, and at the same time it will allow us to meet our goals as a Ministry.

An accurate analysis and broader understanding of the tourism reality through specialized training are key and indispensible elements in ensuring a good future for mountain tourism destinations.

Francesc Camp Torres

Minister of Tourism and Trade


Foreword Message from the President of Pallarsactiu

As President of PALLARSACTIU, it is a great pleasure to present the Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management, a project born from an original idea by a member of our Advisory Board, and in which we have been working for more than two years along with the University of Andorra, Themis Foundation of the World Tourism Organization, and with the support of Colorado State University.

PALLARSACTIU is an organisation formed by public and private companies which aims to promote economic development and protect the economic interests of the regions of Pallars Jussà and Pallars Sobirà. It currently consists of 81 members, 11 of which are public: Consell Comarcal (District Council) and 10 city halls. The remaining 70 are private companies and professionals who represent different economic sectors of the region.

Specifically, it wants to defend the common interests of people, companies and institutions by promoting economic activity in the area through the creation and improvement of communications networks and services, promoting industry, designing new tourism services, increasing forest, agricultural and livestock productivity, and developing in this way an economic model that is valued by the community and at the same time is sustainable and respectful toward nature. PALLARSACTIU wants to be a leader in job creation, support for established companies, promotion of entrepreneurship, and projection of the region, in order to contribute toward population retention and economic and business development in the area.

I invite you to explore these training programs we offer, which aim to increase key competencies of students and professionals of the sector, and expand the career and specialisation options of students, in a field in continuous growth.

Josep Gonzàlez

President of Pallarsactiu