A training needs analysis for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: report available
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 were 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:
1) “knowledge on how to develop a communication strategy”
2) “tools to reduce environmental impact from organisational activity”
3) “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:
1) “methods to influence and encourage support for conservation funding by visitors and businesses”
2) “knowledge of national and international initiatives, networks and specialist groups that support professionals developing sustainable tourism and recreation in and around PAs”
3) “best practices on partnerships / formal agreements that can support economically local tourism businesses, and related products and services”
Skills for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: a training needs analysis
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).
Coming soon: a training platform for Sustainable Tourism professionals!
Based on the collective know-how of the project partners, which include universities, business owners and protected areas working on sustainable tourism, a free, online learning platform with sustainable tourism material for Protected Area stakeholders is developed addressing these needs. Access to the platform will be free of costs. Keep tuned, the platform will be announced soon!
Erasmus+ project ‘Sustainable Tourism: Training for Tomorrow’
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).