Introducing NTG: initiator Silvia Barbone, Federturismo Confindustria
The Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG) consists out of 14 partners. In the first blog, Silvia Barbone tells us everything about the Next Tourism Generation project. As the project leader of NTG, working for Federturismo Confindustria, Silvia knows all the ins and outs of this exciting skills project.
How does the Next Tourism Generation Alliance work exactly?
“The Next Tourism Generation Alliance is a strategic project funded by the European Commission to build the first Digital and Sustainable Skills Development Guidelines (Blueprint) for the Tourism Industry. With NTG we want to give a new direction to the industry starting from the skills.
NTG is the first European partnership and alliance for improving a collaborative and productive relationship between education and industry. The NTG Alliance will provide employees, employers, entrepreneurs, teachers, trainers and students with a set of guidelines and tools. NTG will also support public authorities for the planning of the structural funds.”
Which key sectors are addressed within the NTG project?
“Food and Beverage: here, the project aims to focus on restaurants, cafes and local food and drink supply chains. Next to that, food tourism brands, restaurant/catering trade organizations and culinary training organizations will also be of high relevance for the NTG project.
Accommodation: different types of hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and other categories within accommodations will be actively addressed.
Visitor attraction: many visitor attractions are taken into consideration for this project, one could think of the following: botanic gardens, different types of heritage buildings, nature reserves. Topics such as cultural and heritage management, visitor interpretation and information and visitor attraction trade associations will be intensively discussed within this sub-sector.
Destination management: managing a destination requires active involvement from many parties such as local authorities, government education and tourism departments, destination marketing organizations, marine, rural and urban tourism development and planning organizations and tourism trade associations. These will, therefore, be of importance when discussing this sub-sector within the NTG project.
Travel agents and tour operators: both operating on different levels such as independent tour operators, online travel agents and trade associations.
All the sub-sectors are approached with a holistic approach.”
What is the current project stage of the Next Tourism Generation and what can be expected in the upcoming months?
“Currently, we are conducting a desk and field research to investigate the current and projected future training needs with regards to Digital, Green skills and Social skills. The target countries are Italy, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. The research is done with the involvement of the tourism industry, first results will be available by the end of the year to take action and start planning the change for human capital development in the tourism industry. Furthermore, the Blueprint framework will first be approached with an event in Brussels with the European Commission and the other 4 EU first Blueprint Alliances, Automotive, Maritime technology, Space – geo information and Textile, clothing, leather and footwear.
The Blueprint is a new framework for strategic cooperation in a given economic sector between key stakeholders such as:
- Trade unions;
- Education and training institutions;
- Public authorities.
The project approach is very dynamic with proactive participation of all key stakeholders.”
How can other stakeholders get involved in the project?
“There are two opportunities:
(1) To join the Industry-Led Skills Group (ILSG) at the country level or at the European level and;
(2) to participate in the first NTG public event which will be hosted in October (9-12) in one of the most promoting sustainable thematic parks: Villages Nature. The event will be hosted for tourism leaders and destinations, planners, trainers, funders, policymakers, academics, students and entrepreneurs. The selected topic in line with the NTG scope is “Skills, Careers and Strategic Alliances for Sustainable tourism”. It is structured as a peer to peer event.
There will be an exciting program during those three days. The first two days are dedicated to keynote speakers, practical workshops, training activities and experiential learning in the most sustainable tourism resort in the world. Furthermore, there are guided tours organized throughout the Villages Nature. The last day of the program focuses on exploring the Theme Parks around the area: Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios and Disney Village. There will also be excursions to surrounding areas including Paris, or other Villages Nature activities.
Subscribe to the event by clicking on this link.
Regarding the Industry-Led Skills Group (ILSG), the main aim is to promote discussion and collaboration between key stakeholders in education and industry to develop critical content and skills delivery methods that are innovative, effective and fit for purpose to address key skills gaps in digital skills and sustainability skills. The ILSGs are being established at the country level (Italy, UK, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands and Bulgaria) and at EU level. The one at the EU level is open to EU and international tourism networks and associations.”
About Silvia Barbone:
Silvia is leading “The Next Tourism Generation Alliance” European project which will establish a BluePrint for Sectoral Skills Development in Tourism to provide concrete innovative and highly relevant Skills Products and Tools for improving the relationship between Industry and Education Providers.
This project is a key European project for the tourism sector. She is an international expert in sustainable tourism with extensive knowledge of European tourism, cultural and social policies and funding. She is an experienced trainer in Project Management, Sustainable Tourism, and European Policies and Funding. Silvia is the founder and the director of Jlag (www.jlageurope.com) and “FEST” (Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism, www.festfoundation.eu), and Head of EU Projects and Partnerships at Federturismo Confindustria. She is coordinating on behalf of Federturismo Confindustria.