Federturismo and UnionCamere launch the first Italian tourism skills forum
What are the real needs of the tourism industry in Italy, in terms of digital skills as well as green and social skills to promote sustainability? What are the key initiatives and investments that support skills innovation? Which European funds are available for this industry? The first tourism skills forum took stock of the situation and was launched by NTG Alliance key partners Federturismo Confindustria and UnionCamere during a meeting held on 6 June at Unioncamere, the Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture.
Next Tourism Generation Alliance
The day involved public and private actors in the tourism system in a fruitful dialogue that saw the presentation of the European project Next Tourism Generation Alliance. The Forum is intended to build and validate, directly with the European Commission, the new European strategy (Blueprint) to develop digital, green and social skills in tourism and plan new related funding. This is where Next Tourism Generation Alliance comes in, the multinational project of the European Commission led by Federturismo, which was presented in detail to participants. The project, it was highlighted, has the main objective of defining a model for the development of sectoral skills in tourism and hospitality and developing an innovative method for educators to update themselves on rapid changes in skill sets for future generations involved in the sector.
Unioncamere and Federturismo as key partners of the Next Tourism Generation Alliance
The proceedings were opened by Fabio Pizzino, Manager of the Unioncamere International integration and cooperation initiatives and programmes service, and by Antonio Barreca, Director General of Federturismo. Antonio Barreca emphasised that, “NTG is a strategic project for the Federation that sees us as protagonists in Europe to outline the new tourism policy and to contribute to effective planning of the next round of funding, in particular, in defining the guidelines for funding training and entrepreneurship.”
It was then the turn of Silvia Barbone, Manager of Federturismo’s European projects and Coordinator of the project, to showcase the work of the Next Tourism Generation Alliance. Silvia Barbone highlighted that, “Federturismo is working closely with the European Commission and the main actors of the tourism industry to renew the tourist industry at European level starting with digital and sustainable skills and new cooperation models. With the Next Tourism Generation project we intend to build an Italian and European model that is able to bring our country to the forefront, not only from the point of view of the tourism offer but also in terms of skills and training”.
Toward the establishment of the Forum and Task Force on tourism skills
The proceedings continued with a roundtable discussion dedicated to the theme, “Toward the establishment of the Forum and a Task Force on tourism skills: priorities, pilot areas, European funding, and organisational model”. The contributions were moderated by Silvia Barbone and Flavia Coccia from ISNART, the National Institute for Tourism Research, which is an “in-house” consortium company in the Italian chambers of commerce. Flavia Coccia focused on the state of the art and the needs of the tourist industry in Italy, highlighting the results of a recent survey of the main sector representatives on current and future skills needs and training in the three areas of interest: environmental, social and digital. The interviews were carried out using the CAWI (Computer-Assisted-Web-Interviewing) and FACE-TO-FACE methodologies in the following sectors: destination management; food & beverage; tourist attractions; travel agencies and tour operators; and accommodation. More information on the NTG research can be found here.
UNWTO 2019: the year of training, skills and employment in tourism
Alessandra Priante, Head of the International Relations and Ceremonial Office of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, Food, Forestry and Tourism, closed the forum meeting. She underlined that the forum was timely as “For the UNWTO, 2019 is the year of training, skills and employment in tourism. Therefore also at world level it is an absolute priority to start to talk about tourism as a professional alternative for young people; taking into account the fact that the labour market and especially the operational contexts are now very developed and cannot move away from digital. Job creation through tourism is the true essence of the contribution to economic development, but also to social and cultural development, that tourism can provide in the world.” The future of tourism in Italy mainly involves a proper university education and companies need to be aware of the importance of knowing about the new skills needed to meet the challenges of such a complex sector.
Unioncamere has always invested in projects and initiatives such as studies and analyses of the tourism economy, as well as in monitoring professional and training needs through the information system Excelsior. For this reason, it strongly believes in the Next Tourism Generation (NTG) project, which will outline the European strategies in the context of digital and sustainable skills.
By NTG Skills Alliance key partner UnionCamere