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Recap PM4SD Summer School, Day 1

The 6th edition of the successful PM4SD Summer School 2018, in cooperation with the Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG), has been hosted at Villages Nature Paris. The event focused on the selected theme “Skills, Careers and strategic alliances for Sustainable tourism” and has invited many expert keynote speakers to discuss this rising matter. The PM4SD Summer School Event, is the first public event for the NTG Alliance. In this blog we summarise the main key insights.

Find the Programme and Booklet here:

PM4SD Summer School Programme
Speakers Booklet


Session 1: Next Toursim Generation Alliance, partnerships and alliances for skills development

Silvia Barbone, Director of FEST and Jlag, and Head of EU Projects and Partnerships at Federturismo Confindustria and leader of the NTG project kicked off the first day of the PM4SD Summer School event. Silvia is coordinating the NTG project to build and implement the first European Blueprint Strategy for Sector Skills Alliance. During the opening of the event, she spoke about the blueprint key points and the importance of the existence of ‘Next Tourism Generation Alliance’.



After the kick-off, Dr. Sheena Carlisle, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University and responsible for the quality assurance of the Next Tourism Generation Alliance, shared insights in skills gaps in sustainability from a Wales perspective and the needs for change. In 13 years she said, past and current challenges in Tourism Skills Development are still the same, plus there is a Brexit uncertainty which involves higher skills shortages and reduced funding.

Dr. Corné Dijkmans, representing Breda University of Applied Sciences at the event focused on some best practices in the education and working field related to digital skills development such as the award-winning ‘E-Lab’ and other innovative tools such as VR and AR. Effective collaborations between the industry and education are key in order to provide tourism students with digital, social and green skills for a successful, professional future in this dynamic industry.

The future of tourism skills are high-tech with a human touch


Dr. Corné Dijkmans is Manager Research & Business innovation at the Academy for Tourism of Breda University of Applied Sciences, Senior Lecturer in Online Marketing & New Media Technology. He also holds a PhD in Communication Science from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Roisin McKee is talent management expert for the tourism and visitor economy sector at People 1stIn her role, she works in partnership with the tourism industry, government and the TVET to shape a skills system driven by employer demand. Roisin explained that customer service is the number 2 skill need and trough their ‘Worldhost’ training platform, global research is translated into Best Practice.

Lucy Good from Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales, emphasized the importance of minimizing the skills gap between education and industry by effectively creating cooperations between both parties. Lucy is a successful Learning and Development Manager at Bluestone National Park Resort and got rewarded for outstanding contribution to skills development together with her team.

Attitude is the thing we all look for in employees

How does Bluestone bridge the skills gaps? Bluestone works with an ‘every person counts’ performance approach, takes care of literally accessible work and grow their own talents.  Employees will get an environmental training, guests will be informed on waste reduction and the nature surrounding the resort, and there is always a focus on work that contributes to protecting their habits. 

Session 2: Practical discussion seminar | Key challenges to implementing sustainable tourism skills in the tourism industry

The discussion on the challenges of implementing sustainable tourism skills in the industry is very important. NTG uses the discussion outcomes for the next steps in the project. Several insights:

  • It is important to first explore good practices and to define a common understanding about what is sustainability.
  • There are some challenges as well when it comes to investments on sustainability and the wanted results, KPI’s can help to define the outcomes.
  • To receive the commitment from employees on sustainability, a bottom-up approach is needed: the vision of the board should be formulated together with the employees and shared throughout the company. Also, clients should know what an organization does in order to raise the attention for sustainability internal and external.
  • There must be a clear infrastructure with policy and decisionmakers on sustainability. The awareness should be supported on a governmental level and there will be a different approach needed for several tourism subsectors.
  • What are sustainable/green skills? How can we commit businesses to train their employees on those skills and what is the shortage of current trainers? By answering those questions, it will be possible to generate a needs/wants profile that can bring value to sustainable skills in tourism.


Session 3: Smart and sustainable tourism: destinations, theme parks, transportation

The last session of the first successful and inspiring day at PM4SD Summer School in Villages Nature Paris tackles the topic of smart and sustainable tourism. Keynote speaker Marie Balmain kicks off the last session of today sharing her insights of Villages Nature Paris and how they contribute to sustainability in the resort. Marie joined the Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs Group in 2005 and has been in charge of the One Planet Action Plan for Villages Nature Paris. During the Summer School Event, Villages Nature Paris has been awarded the Blue Community Certificate of Achievement and the Certificate of Excellence of as hosting organization of its 6th edition of the conference.


Christopher Castro is an award-winning sustainable professional, eco-entrepreneur, and community organizer with a passion for accelerating the transition to a smart, resilient and sustainable future. In his presentation, he focuses on the case of Orlando. The city uses data in order to improve sustainability. The city is filled with clean energy and green buildings and also driving is getting more electric with the initiative of Drive Electric Orlando that offers a seamless car rental experience connected to major tourist attractions and business locations. There is a lot of engagement with the community and citizens, such as workshops where people can discuss the problems or challenges the city faces. Technology can be seen as the enabler to solve the problems and challenges.


Clarissa Mattos is Market Manager for Americas and Pacific markets of Eurail Group, the management and marketing company for Eurail Passes. She presented an educational program for a Sustainable European Experience. Nathalie Simmenauer, Director of the Sustainable Development Department at Corporate Level at Air France talked about the Airfrance/KLM approach on sustainability.

Innovation is key for sustainable development

She states that besides innovation, commitment will be the long-term solution in partnerships with NGO’s and social enterprises.


Follow the efforts of the Next Tourism Generation via our website, Facebook, Twitter | #NTGskillsalliance or via LinkedIn



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