Within the Erasmus+ project ‘Sustainable Tourism: Training for Tomorrow’ the consortium consisting of 6 partners, has identified the key training needs of professionals working on sustainable tourism in protected areas (PAs). To this end, a literature review, mapping of relevant competences, and European-wide survey among PA stakeholders was carried out.
Some of the key results include a top 3 of knowledge and skill areas that were rated as most important, a top 3 of knowledge and skills for which respondents lack most knowledge and the overall training gap they are experiencing.
The 3 most important knowledge and skills areas are:
- “knowledge on how to develop a communication strategy”
- “tools to reduce environmental impact from organisational activity”
- “knowledge of how to develop, design and/or use attractive and engaging communication tools”
The 3 knowledge and skills areas for which respondents lack most knowledge are:
- “methods to influence and encourage support for conservation funding by visitors and businesses”
- “knowledge of national and international initiatives, networks and specialist groups that support professionals developing sustainable tourism and recreation in and around PAs”
- “best practices on partnerships / formal agreements that can support economically local tourism businesses, and related products and services”
The overall training gap analysis, taking into account both the respondents’ level of importance (i.e. relatively important) and level of knowledge (i.e. relatively little knowledge about), results in the following 3 main skills that need to be focussed on in the near future:
- “tools for monitoring tourism impacts on the environment, economy and communities”
- “methods to define and measure sustainable tourism indicators”
- “knowledge of national and international initiatives, networks and specialist groups that support professionals developing sustainable tourism and recreation in and around protected areas”.
For some (large enough) groups of respondents, a further detailed analysis could be conducted by country (France, Italy and Spain), and by profiles of respondents working in a specific type of organisation (protected area management, business and the public sector).
Erasmus+ project ‘Sustainable Tourism: Training for Tomorrow’
The ultimate project goal is to develop a free, online learning platform with sustainable tourism material for Protected Area stakeholders is developed addressing these needs. This platform will be launched soon.
This project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. It aims to increase the quality, supply and accessibility of training in sustainable tourism for Protected Area stakeholders across Europe. The consortium members are: Hasselt University (Belgium); University of Hull (United Kingdom); EUROPARC Federation (Germany), the network of ecotourism professionals (AEE) in Spain, Ente Parchi Emilia Occidentale (Italy) and Montagne de Reims Nature Regional Park (France).
Project website: here