INNO4Tourism – Innovative Curricula for Life-Long Learning of Sustainable Tourism Workforce

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Promoting the alignment of skills with labor market needs in the hospitality and tourism sector in Thai and Laotian universities to enhance students employability through the establishment of University-Business Cooperation mechanisms and the development of innovative curricula on sustainable tourism.

Context

Since 2015, governments worldwide have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. Sustainable tourism, firmly embedded within the 2030 Agenda, is one of the most relevant and fast-growing economic sectors globally, capable of fostering economic growth and development at all levels. It contributes to professional development, particularly among youth and women, by creating job opportunities as recognized in SDG 8. Furthermore, it serves as a vehicle towards sustainability driven by sustainable consumption and production practices (SDG 12), with the potential to contribute to the conservation of fragile ecosystems and the promotion of the Blue Economy.

In this context, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global tourism has been enormous. Like all crises, the pandemic has posed challenges but has also offered opportunities for the improvement of greener and more sustainable tourism development models. The project INNO4Tourism was born in this context, aiming to address global challenges through the establishment of international synergies.

Specifically, INNO4Tourism aims to contribute to aligning Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic with the rapidly evolving local labor market in hospitality and tourism. As a result, the employability of students and graduates, as well as the skills and knowledge of the current workers in the sector, will be enhanced. Collaboration with relevant European universities and organizations will facilitate the transfer and adaptation of European skills, good practices, and policies to Asian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and, as whole, of education systems.

Objectives

  • Improve the academic offer of HEIs and students’ access to innovative curricula on sustainable tourism in the form of online, non degree courses (sustainable tourism -inclusive and accessible tourism-, tourism entrepreneurship and management, digital skills, soft skills, e.g., problem-solving, time management, teamwork);
  • Improve the skills of current and future students of hospitality and tourism programmes and upskill/reskill the hospitality and tourism workforce and recent graduates according to the labour market needs;
  • Strengthen the skills of HEIs’ academic/teaching staff on developing innovative curricula and introducing innovative elements in existing curricula on sustainable tourism;
  • Enhance teaching skills of academic/ teaching staff in hospitality and tourism programmes (incl. learner-centred and problem-based teaching and learning);
  • Increase the capacities of HEIs’ administrative staff on active cooperation with the hospitality and tourism sector and/or other relevant stakeholders and provision of holistic career services to hospitality and tourism students and graduates;
  • Enhance students’ and graduates’ students access to modern and holistic career services.
  • Enhance the active engagement of HEIs with the business world to address mismatches between the requirements of employers and the offer of HEIs in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Activities

  • Identification of skills demand in sustainable tourism and gaps in current tourism and hospitality personnel in Thailand and Laos through research using primary and secondary sources. The research will be implemented based on a common protocol, and the results will be collected in two national reports (Thailand and Laos) and one transnational report;
  • Enhancement of skills of personnel in HEIs through various interventions:
  • A training program on establishing university-industry cooperation mechanisms and initiating holistic career guidance services;
  • An online Training of Trainers (ToT) program to increase the knowledge and skills of Thai and Laotian HEIs personnel for developing a curriculum focused on sustainable tourism (covering theoretical-knowledge, practical-bureaucratic, and methodological elements), concluding with a two-week in-person training for 12 involved trainers (one in Palermo and one in Thessaloniki) to acquire skills for transferring the acquired knowledge to university academic staff;
  • Implementation of the training program by ToTs at their respective universities through a training seminar of at least 5 days addressed to at least 10 members of the academic staff of their university (10 participants per each university involved);
  • Piloting of of University – Business sector cooperation mechanisms in sustainable tourism through the establishment of 4 HEIs career offices, the launch of 17-month pilot collaboration programs between universities and business sector, and the subsequent evaluation and reporting of results in a Final Evaluation Report, as well as the development of Recommendations to be included in such a report;
  • Development and piloting (for 12 months) of new curricula on Sustainable Tourism (8 modules), concluding with a final evaluation and the provision of recommendations.

Resources

  • Two national reports, one for Thailand and one for Laos, on skills demand and gaps in the current workforce in the hospitality and tourism sector in Thailand and Laos PDR;
  • A transnational report on skills demand and gaps in the workforce in the hospitality and tourism sector and recommendations for the development of new curricula;
  • An online training program on university-business cooperation mechanisms and holistic career guidance services;
  • A training program and an online platform for curriculum development on sustainable tourism;
  • Eight online courses on sustainable tourism (key topics identified in national reports on current skills demand in the labor market and skills gaps in the tourism and hospitality sector, e.g., Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism Business Management, Digital Marketing for Tourism, …).

Impact

  • Strengthened partnerships and cooperation between Higher Education Institutions and the business sector through university-business cooperation mechanisms to address imbalances between employers’ needs and HEIs’ offerings in the hospitality and tourism sector;
  • Improved knowledge and awareness of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at national and international levels regarding the benefits of integrating university-business cooperation mechanisms and innovative curricula on sustainable tourism;
  • Increased awareness among local, regional, and national authorities, as well as local communities and the wider public, about the importance of university-industry cooperation mechanisms and the promotion of sustainable tourism for the benefit of local communities;
  • Promoted the adoption of innovative and learner-centered digital approaches for teaching sustainable tourism;
  • Enhanced provision of career services within Higher Education Institutions with a positive effect on students;
  • Improved skills offering in the field of sustainable hospitality and tourism by Thai and Laotian universities;
  • Enhanced green skills of students, graduates, and employees in the sustainable hospitality and tourism sector with effects on their employability;
  • Strengthened cooperation of Higher Education Institutions with local communities.

In particular, about 40000 people will benefit from project activities among students and university staff, policy-makers, stakeholders and local communities, including:

  • 132 members of the HEIs’ staff (80 administrative and 52 academics, including 12 trainers), who will enhance their knowledge and skills in sustainable tourism, while learning how to set up UBC mechanisms (administrative staff), develop innovative curricula and acquire learner centred teaching methods and techniques (academic staff);
  • At least 240 students trained on sustainable tourism of which 165 students involved in work-based opportunities/placements;
  • At least 120 employees upskilled and up-to-date with labor market demand.

Partners

Il progetto

INNO4Tourism – Innovative Curricula for Life-Long Learning of Sustainable Tourism Workforce

Numero di progetto

101129247

Data di attuazione

01/12/2023 – 30/11/2026

Istituzione Finanziatrice

Erasmus+: Capacity building in the field of higher education (ERASMUS-EDU-2023-CBHE)

Categorie

Unità

Info & contatti

E-mail

marika.dangelo@cesie.org

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