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The importance of social and cross-cultural skills for tourism and hospitality

Social and cross-cultural skills, often called ‘soft skills’, are among the skills seen as most important for the tourism and hospitality workforce (Wilks & Hemsworth 2011, Sisson & Adams 2013, Weber et al 2009). These skills are highly appreciated by employers in the sector and are also transferable skills that could be easily adapted to different working environments. With the growth of AI and emerging discussions about the displacement of the workforce, social skills are regaining importance with the recognition that many workers in the future will need more complex problem-solving, adaptability and creativity skills. But how can we define these skills?


Finland’s Leadership in Green Skills Development: Pioneering Sustainability in the Tourism Industry

Finland has a reputation as a leader in environmental policy and sustainable development. The country is highly committed to global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has been ranked number one in an international comparison of sustainable development in 2021. It has also established itself as a trailblazer in promoting sustainability and green skills development within the tourism industry. With a commitment to preserving its clean nature and minimising environmental impact, Finland has implemented innovative strategies and initiatives that set a global benchmark.


Bridging Innovation and Learning in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector

Colleagues of the Pantour consortium; Federturismo Confindustria and Ruraltour went to Singapore to moderate the BILT sessions, focusing on solutions for the digital and green transition in Singapore. What are the digital and green skills we need in the future of tourism? The conference entitled “Hybrid BILT Bridging Event – TVET for Hospitality and Tourism: Solutions for the Digital and Green Transition”, was the first on-site Bridging Event of the BILT project in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides a platform for outlining trends in green and digital qualifications and competencies, with a focus on the hospitality and tourism sector.


Robots, AI and the skills requirements of tourism and hospitality employees

In the recent months, ChatGPT has become a trendy word, and a lot of provocative and even dark forecasts flooded the media. The power of generative AI to create content on a particular topic seems frustrating for many people. The general fear is that the AI will substitute many jobs, thus causing a huge unemployment. On the other hand, AI could significantly enhance employees, especially in service industries like tourism and hospitality.


Tourism and hospitality along the lines of sustainability by VIMOSZ

As a Pantour consortium member, VIMOSZ is currently involved in 4 projects with sustainability and socio-economic issues as common points. Three projects have the common goal of promoting sustainability. The WASTELESS and Plan’Eat projects focus on sustainability of the food ecosystem by reducing food waste and promoting healthy, sustainable eating habits. The TOURBAN project focuses on the sustainability of urban tourism by introducing innovative solutions and sustainable business models.


Interacting with travel information: Surf the net, travel the world

Many years ago, when planning a family holidays, tourists would have to go to a travel agency nearby, get loads of colorful brochures and take them home, where they would have to go through that information for several days to compare lodgings and prices before returning to the agency to hire their desired summer break.

At the present time, the Internet has changed completely the way travelers find and organize their holidays and, instead of travel brochures, they can find travel websites, blogs and social network accounts that offer them all the necessary information… and much more.


Best Practice: Promoting Gender Equality and Sustainability for Entrepreneur Women in Central Vietnam

The Southeast Asian Region (ASEAN) has seen an increase in female-led businesses in the last decade, and Vietnam is one of the countries that have increasingly invested in entrepreneurship, with women playing an important role in Vietnam’s transition economy over time (Bui, Minh Tam, and Trinh Q. Long, 2021).  However, the profound impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on women around the globe has also contributed to a gender gap in the country, as entrepreneur women struggled to keep businesses running. In the case of the tourism industry, the multiple lockdowns imposed since 2020 led to large job losses, as international tourism plays an important role in the Vietnamese tourism industry (Da Van Huynh et al, 2021). The response of the country to the reopening of international travel began in 2022, and together with other areas of the economy affected by the pandemic, there was a need to boost the sector with different economic plans, for example, extending visa-free periods, and investments in inbound tourism.


The use of data as a competitive skills level in tourism

Among the different sectors of the economy, the tourism sector is one of those that is riding the wave of digitalisation most quickly, according to the CaixaBank Sector Digitalisation Index (ICDS). This same study also indicates that, within the tourism sector, the accommodation sector is gaining a greater degree of digitisation, especially in terms of the marketing of customer services.

Innovation is closely related to digitisation. This concept could be defined as the transformation of information from physical to digital format. Besides being a form of “survival” in our increasingly digitised everyday life, is a form of communication to be able to transmit this information from generation to generation.


Share your views on digital, social, and green skills needs in tourism | Expert Survey

It’s the European Year of Skills and currently, we love to hear your opinion on skills needs in the tourism sector of the future! The PANTOUR project has dedicated special attention to the reskilling and upskilling of the generic workforce on future skills needs. This is why a European Wide Skills Survey has been prepared to investigate whether a gap exists between current levels of skills in the tourism industry and the future skills needed in 2030.  As one of our valuable community connections, we kindly request your cooperation in filling out this survey and sharing your knowledge with us. This will allow us to get a deeper insight into

(1) the current state of affairs in skills development and

(2) provide us with your views on the future prospects of these skills.

Your input is highly appreciated. The link to the survey which is expected to take approximately 10-12 minutes, can be found here: Tourism Skills survey 2023


The Pantour project (follow up of the Next Tourism Generation project (NTG)) needs to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs, educators and workers in tourism for upcoming changes and opportunities in the tourism industry. Developments in previously separate areas such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, and blockchain technology are now joining forces and amplifying one another. The impact of this will be visible in the coming years and affect European societies, industries, jobs, and amounts of free time. The Pantour desk research has been completed and is now followed-up by the distribution of the European Wide Skills Survey.


The first desk research- phase of the NTG Skills Alliance project ended in Spring 2023. This provided extensive insight into the current skills situations in the partner countries. Main trends, which will influence future skills for tourism were also identified and has led to the content of the NTG Skills survey.  The secondary data report will be published in February. This  online survey aims to:


Explore if a gap exists between current awareness and levels of digital and sustainability skills in the business field of Tourism and what skills are needed in 2030. 


In this way, it will become clear what knowledge and which products and tools are required in order to prepare the Next Tourism Generation for the level of skills in the tourism field.


The online survey will be distributed among the five tourism sub-sectors: hospitality, food & beverage, visitor attractions, destination management and tour operators and travel agencies. We would like to invite all tourism employers in these sub-sectors to participate in the NTG Skills survey. The explanation and link to the survey can be found below.



This survey is of high relevance for tourism businesses in order to map the importance of digital, social and green skills for tourism businesses in the EU now and in the future. The NTG alliance holds a mirror towards the industry itself, to act strategically towards our future generation of tourism stakeholders, professionals and students in view of serving our customers.

Purpose of the survey

The survey consists out of three counter parts:

  • Green skills 
  • Social skills  
  • Digital skills


The survey encourages respondents – employers in tourism and hospitality sub-sectors – to review their organizations in terms of sustainability skills, capacities to engage with customers and fellow professionals regarding sustainability in the tourism field and finally, the digital capacity of employees in organizations will be investigated.




Follow-up procedure

By completing the survey, you will support the progress of Pact for Next Tourism Generation Skills. The insights, which will be derived in the upcoming weeks, will be used to enforce the tourism sector to be future-proof in the EU. As a result of the survey employers, (future) employees and educators will work more collaboratively based on the optimized skills sets.

The Pantour project keep all sectors informed through the established networks of the partners.

  • Your company identity will not be known to third parties and to the research analysis team, it will be kept anonymous in line with the GDPR regulations.


Follow the efforts of the Pantour via our websiteFacebookTwitter | or via LinkedIn

Interview Svetlana Pantyukhina: Rural Tourism Development

Svetlana Pantyukhina is an expert in rural tourism development, affiliated with the Autonomous non-profit organization “Agency of rural community development” and an expert of the national project “Adaptation Accelerator. She is trengthening community-based tourism CSOs for sustainable development of rural and marginalized areas of Russia in post-COVID reality” delivered by ARCD in cooperation with RuralTour.