UNWTO launches education toolkit for incorporating tourism as a subject


Recognising the tourism sector as a pillar of economic and social development, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has launched an education toolkit for the incorporation of tourism as a subject in high schools across the world.

UNWTO Secretary Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvil pitched for the introduction of tourism as a subject in schools and establishing more tourism academies and universities across the globe at the Global Education Forum’ during the 25th General Assembly of the UNWTO here.

We recognise the vital need of supporting our member states in training and supporting the tourism workers of today and of tomorrow, giving them the skills and knowledge they need to meet the changing employer demands and build a truly resilient and competitive sector,” Pololikashvil said.

The introduction of tourism into high schools reflects the heightened relevance of our sector as a pillar of economic and social development. The support of Ministries of Tourism will be essential for making it happen. At the same time, it is equally crucial we engage with key stakeholders within the high school ecosystem to ensure the success of this transformative initiative, he added.

The toolkit includes modules not only for Ministries of Education but also for parents, school directors, and teachers, who will require robust support and empowerment in this endeavour.

Kunal Vasudeva, co-founder and managing director of the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH), formally launched the toolkit at the event that concluded here on Saturday.

In a sector characterised by constant transformation, innovative educational programmes are vital for fostering sustainable progress. Our objective is to inspire change and underscore the critical role of education in nurturing the next generation of hospitality leaders and change agents.

There is a need for a global approach towards hospitality education and a UNWTO-backed accreditation can become the gold standard. The toolkit is a valuable resource to enhance tourism education worldwide, he said.

UNWTO Executive Director Natalia Bayona said introducing tourism education and training at an early stage lays the foundations for developing the necessary skills and knowledge.

The toolkit specifically focuses on making tourism a part of high school education. Its successful implementation will need the leadership of the Ministries of Tourism of UNWTO member states. Their role involves articulating a compelling vision for introducing tourism in high schools, and actively engaging all relevant stakeholders, she said.

The toolkit offers an overview of the current status of high school and vocational education training worldwide. Additionally, it presents successful case studies of integrating tourism education and training in public and private schools. It also introduces academic partners from UNWTO who can assist in the implementation of this transformative process, Bayona said.

Packed curricula, insufficient career learning, complex regulatory environment, lack of government support, insufficient funding, lack of qualified faculty, negative perception about tourism, insufficient commitment, and lack of advocacy, are among the roadblocks listed by experts in the introduction of tourism as a subject in schools.

Among the recommendations made in the toolkit are focus on advancing in the general education track of national school systems; optimising the visibility and adoption of tourism in international systems; introducing a skills-based education that encourages completion of studies at university; engaging and empowering key stakeholders in high schools; addressing the tourism gap and shaping the beliefs and perceptions around tourism.

The toolkit has separate suggestions, modules, and recommendations for the British education system, the American system and the International Baccalaureate system.

The 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly incorporated a vibrant Global Forum on Education, emphasising the pivotal role of education in shaping the future of the tourism industry.

The event brought together high-level ministers, thought leaders and renowned experts from around the globe to explore out-of-the-box approaches to tourism education and its significant impact on the sector.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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