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Lessons from the EU Green Week

During the EU Green Week last 3-11 June, X23 – The Innovation Bakery co-organised a webinar tackling new trends, fast societal and demographic development changes, pace of innovation, climate crisis, post-pandemic as challenging scenarios for tourism SMEs and tourism professionals to deal with. Many jobs in the sector have changed rapidly and new ones are emerging, green and digital skills are at the forefront of the tourism industry. The event tackled issues on the complexity of tourism and how new skills are needed to adapt to the evolving landscape of tourism.

Among several speakers was Patice Talaue, Green Destinations‘ Training & Support Manager, who presented emerging skills needed for digital, green, and innovative tourism in the EU and how VET institutions and professionals can adapt their existing curricula to the evolving needs of the travel industry. Her presentation also tackled how these skills can enable destinations to become one step closer to achieving sustainable tourism certification within the GSTC-Recognised Green Destinations Standard.

Here are some key takeaways from her presentation:

  • The demands of the tourism and travel market are constantly evolving. Since the pandemic, the demand for more sustainable travel has dramatically increased. But on the contrary, good intentions have not necessarily translated into actual demand.
    The latest publication of Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report mentions the lack of options as a primary reason for not travelling more sustainably.
  • Looking at the supply side, enterprises in the EU show they are taking steps toward greener choices. An overwhelming majority have taken at least one action and the top areas concern improving working conditions. But these are not enough in the face of urgent climate and environmental action.
  • Among the top 3 barriers that limit enterprises from working toward going green and resource efficiency are issues related to recruitment and having adequately skilled employees in sustainability.
  • In any case, there is an urgent need to reorient educational and professional training to develop the skills needed to transition into prioritising sustainability with the hopes of sustainability becoming the norm, and not an option.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.

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