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Highlights at VIMOSZ: EU Projects and Domestic Initiatives

After the quieter summer months, autumn has brought a flurry of events for us. The vibrant season has given us the opportunity to actively participate in various activities, and we are happy to share the highlights of our efforts. While our previous article focused on our green skills projects (WASTELESS, Plan’Eat and TOURBAN), sustainability and socio-economic issues, now we would like to concentrate on the social skills. We focused on two key areas: Firstly, our commitment to promoting ongoing EU projects has taken us to several events. Secondly, we have been involved in domestic discussions, particularly concerning skills development in the dynamic field of tourism.


Promotion of ongoing EU projects

The main objectives of participating in the events were to present the results and objectives of our ongoing EU tenders, especially PANTOUR in order to attract partners, and to gain a better understanding of the situation of the tourism sector through the actors of the sector. Through various lectures, roundtables, webinars and workshops, our team members have actively contributed to the discussions and gained valuable insights, sometimes as speakers and sometimes as listeners.


Some of these events are highlighted below:
On 19 September, at the FoodServiceEurope – European Federation of Food, Agriculture, and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) Sectoral Social Dialogue plenary meeting, our association presented the results of the NTG project (Next Tourism Generation Skills Alliance), including the Tourism Sector Skills Toolkit and the Skills Matrix. In addition, the continuation of the NTG project, the PANTOUR project, was also presented underlining the importance of skills development and new work profiles.


During the Pact for Skills for Tourism (PfST) Coordination meeting on 21 September 2023, our association presented the new primary job profiles based on the results of the PANTOUR survey and research and submitted them for comments. Now in collaboration with the Pact for Skills for Tourism (PfST) members we are working on the selection of 10 future job profiles, that will appear from 2030 in the tourism industry.


The Budapest Tourism Roundtable, bringing together around 40 senior tourism executives, served as a central discussion forum. On the occasion of the World Tourism Day on 27 September 2023, Budapest Brand Nonprofit Ltd. convened the Budapest Tourism Roundtable. Within the framework of the event, our association also reported on the results of our TOURBAN project but presented PANTOUR as well.


Our association was represented at the first meeting of Together for EU Tourism (T4T), the expert body that supports EU tourism policy, at the Plenary meeting on 29 September 2023. We are also in a joint resilience working group e.g., with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the European Travel Commission (ETC), the European tourism association (ETOA), the Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe (HOTREC), the Rural Tour, the Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTour), and the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO). The panel intends to focus on four themes:

  • tourism indicators and their regulation,
  • tourism strategies and the renewal of tourism education,
  • raising awareness of changes in demand for tourism
  • twin transition


Hosting more than 20 journalists from the Tourism and Gastronomy Section, the Hungarian Association of Journalists’ Labour Market Lecture provided an enriching forum for dialogue and insights. On 18 October 2023, our association held a presentation to members of the Tourism and Gastronomy Section of the Hungarian Association of Journalists. The topic was the labour market and training situation in tourism and hospitality, so we could illustrate the activities of PANTOUR.


Domestic negotiations on skills development in tourism

On the domestic front, our focus has been on critical issues around skills development in the Hungarian tourism sector. We have started working with tourism stakeholders within the framework of the Hungarian National Skills Group (NSG) to create a coordinated lobbying effort at all three levels: vocational training, higher education and adult education. The main topic is how we can improve the education system. We have also made significant progress on issues such as training for Fast food salespeople and for the personnel to create autism-friendly hotels.


After engaging in discussions with the Innovative Training Support Centre and the responsible Secretary of State, we’ve attained a recent breakthrough in training for fast food sales staff. The Fast-Food Sales training program was officially registered on 11 October 2023 by the Ministry of Culture and Innovation. The 120-hour gap-filling training aims to effectively develop the skills of a larger workforce in the Hungarian quick-service sector. This training was much needed in the sector because the national system of up- and reskilling trainings had changed.


Equally important is our participation in the Autism Friendly Hotels project. We still have a long way ahead of us to make Hungary a barrier-free tourist destination. Therefore, we welcome initiatives like this, which put inclusion at the forefront. The Autism Friendly Hotels certification aims to improve the human resources’ skill set and the infrastructure of hotels. The presence of people with autism spectrum disorder is creating a new situation in tourism, as more and more tourists are entering the market who require autism-friendly services. Professional training of hotel staff through a targeted training programme is therefore essential.


We have actively contributed to the assessment of the current situation of hotels in Hungary regarding the professional treatment of people with autism by commenting on a questionnaire of an educational and adult training organisation in Hungary. In cooperation with our member organisation, the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association, disseminated the questionnaire, paving the way for the introduction of a training material that offers a solution on this topic. The training is a tailor-made programme that equips hotel staff with the skills needed to deliver exceptional service.


Both initiatives have the transformative potential to enhance and enrich the skills of people working in the tourism sector. By actively participating in these programmes, tourism workers can not only acquire but also master a wide range of crucial skills and thus become valuable contributors to the sector’s constantly evolving environment. The comprehensive training provided by these initiatives will serve as a key component in promoting professional development and ensuring that tourism professionals are well-prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in their dynamic roles.


Our journey through events and negotiations confirms our commitment to promoting positive change in the tourism sector. From EU projects to domestic initiatives, we are ready to make a lasting impact. As we reflect on these achievements, we look forward to the continued cooperation and growth that the coming seasons will undoubtedly bring.


Author: Hungarian Hospitality Employers’ Association (VIMOSZ)

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