The first year of activity of the EfVET’s Tourism Thematic Team
On January 19, 2021, EfVET saw the kick-off meeting of the TTT: a new Thematic Team dedicated to VET education in Tourism sector, with the objective, in line with EfVET TTs, to establish and solidify networking among members; share and develop a set of “good practices” in the education in tourism; and produce position papers and guidelines on the subject. In addition, the participants expressed from the outset the aim to develop joint projects among group members and to foster international mobility, for both teachers and students.
The initial Team comprised 24 vocational training institutes from 7 different European Countries involved, ensuring a numerous and varied representation in terms of backgrounds, sectors of education in tourism (food&beverage, tour operators, hospitality, transport, management) and professionals involved: project managers, international coordinators, course directors, teachers.
More than a year after its launch, the first TTT “in-person” meeting in Zwolle, the Netherlands, laid the foundations for the second phase of the TTT. With a solidified team of 34 members involved from 9 Countries to date, and over 80 participants in total, the TTT is ready to make use of the outcomes and goals achieved during its first year of life, to further develop its activities and set new milestones for the future.
The Team, coordinated by Apro Formazione, Italy; Landstede Groep, Netherlands and Sedu, Finland, decided since the beginning to apply a participative and dialogical approach, with each member joining on a voluntary basis the activities of their interest, exchanging ideas and, in turn, having access to a mutual sharing of practices, outcomes and researches.
On this basis, the TTT structured itself into four “Thematic Subgroups”, aimed at deepening research and setting up activities on four of the most relevant thematic areas according to the members: “Sustainable and green tourism”, “Digitisation in tourism”, “Mobility and work-based learning in tourism training” and “Future of tourism”. Each of the TTT members was free to join one or more of the subgroups, according to their interest. This strategy made it possible, within a united but large and diverse group, to focus the efforts on the most relevant objectives for each and every member and to maximise active participation.
Over the year, each subgroup set its own goals and activities, starting with a collection and sharing of good practices. A “Masterclass series” on specific topics was lauched, open to TTT members, with informative sessions on topics such as the European “Lifecomp Framework” – later replicated during the EfVET event in Lyon, June 2022 -, “Wellbeing” in the hospitality sector, “Creativity” in tourism education, and more topics, planned for autumn 2022. The “Digital Tourism” subgroup developed a “handbook” for teachers on the topic of “Virtual & Visual Tours”. Moreover, the groups carried out research on future tourism trends, creating a database of insights on tourism trends, and sharing of good practices.
The collaboration between a pool of TTT members even made it possible to successfully participate in a KA2 call of Erasmus+, an achievement that will allow further development and energy to the TTT activities and a good practice for others to follow.
The TTT organized multiple events during the year, dedicated to both internal TTT members and to external participants, inside the EfVET network.
The first opportunity was a full-day virtual event, where two Tour Operators from different European regions recounted their business experiences, future challenges and opportunities, and the relationship with the world of training. Another important moment of dialogue took place at the annual EfVET meeting in Berlin, when the Tourism Thematic Team brought its activities to the whole EfVET community through dedicated workshops.
The activities and results of the first year of the TTT were presented during the first “in presence” TTT meeting, in Zwolle, on May 31th – June 1st 2022. The Team worked together over two intensive days to share results, criticalities and opportunities of the TTT and to lay the groundwork for its evolution. With a final online plenary meeting on 10 June 2022, the TTT set a new structure and set of activities, which will start in the year 2023, at the end of the existing planned milestones and current goals.
The second phase of the TTT will be characterised by a series of “task forces” aimed at the realisation, through the joint collaboration of some TTT members involved in the projects, of a series of targeted activities of interest of the participants and of potential use to all TTT members.
With a balance sheet of increased participation and membership, the achievement of important results, and the development of shared activities and new future planning, the TTT closes a year full of satisfaction and achievements, and already heads into its second year with the prerequisites for further development.