Working together on a future-proof European tourism sector
8 November 2018
Filling the gaps between education and industry
Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) recently joined the brand new Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG). This European partnership is defining a new strategic approach to make the tourism branch future-proof. This is very essential, especially given the present-day mismatch between the needs of the industry and the education offer.
NTG responds to the increasing gaps in digital, green and social proficiency by establishing a blueprint strategy for skills development. Moreover, it wants to define a scalable mechanism and model for sustainable and digital curricula between the industry and education providers. The project also aims to create transformative cooperation in five key tourism sub-sectors: hospitality, food and beverage operations, travel agencies & tour operators, visitor attractions and destination management. Last but not least, NTG wants to develop, deliver and test skills products for professionals, students, university tourism departments, local authorities and companies.
The consortium uses a variety of means to meet these ambitions. One of which was NTG’s first public event: this year’s edition of PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) Summer School hosted at Villages Nature in Paris a few weeks ago. The event consisted of stimulating talks by prominent persons out of the world-wide tourism branch and discussions between industry, travel associations and academic practitioners.
Corné Dijkmans and Lobke Elbers of Business & Research Innovation attended PM4SD Summer School on behalf of BUas. Dijkmans discussed with the audience about the importance of digital fluency and how skills within tourism need to create unique experiences for guests. Taking a perspective from the Netherlands, he also discussed how sustainable skills development needs to include digital and social-cultural as well as green skills. Concluding, he offered insight into how BUas approaches these issues.
BUas cooperates in the NTG together with 13 other organizations from 8 European countries. This four-year project is subsidized by the EU under Erasmus+ (the education, training, youth and sports programme). The Italian employers' federation and chamber of commerce Federturismo Confindustria is coordinating the international consortium.