Moscow State Institute for Tourism Industry n.a. Yu.A.Senkevich (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 7595-7604
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
The importance of tourism for the European economy is undisputable as it accounts for over 5% of direct employment and proportion of European GDP and its multiplying effect over other economic sectors is really tremendous. According to Jonckers (2007), tourism has one of the highest labour mobility rates across Europe, permitting discussion of the emergence of a truly European economic sector and a labour market with a truly European dimension. With two million enterprises in Europe, the tourism sector is responsible for seven million jobs in the core industry (or 5% of the total workforce) and 20 million jobs in total with the related economy (or an additional 8% workforce). This means that the tourism sector is capable of creating 100,000 new jobs per year. Thus, the discussion about future skill needs and professional development for the sector in Europe has a particular significance as well as for those in other parts of the world.
Tourism remains a very specific sector requiring specific knowledge and skills. Although it still requires general and basic skills needs important for every European professional (such as knowledge of foreign languages that has been recently recognized by some national tourism organisations in Europe as a lasting problem and even as a competitive disadvantage), there are also specific skill needs defined by labour category. Thus, tourism managers are expected to possess transversal skills including computer skills, business and strategic planning, strategic alliances, management skills, management through visions and values, yield management, accounting, product development, innovation, human resource management, destination management, project management, management skills to cope with globalization influences, change management, marketing and sales skills (EC 2001, p.26).
In the recent past the term ‘professional’ used to have two definitions – (1) person formally certified by a professional body of belonging to a specific profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice (and whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards); (2) person who has achieved an acclaimed level of proficiency in a calling or trade (Business Dictionary). But today formal certification tends to mean less as in some spheres it hasn’t even developed well enough.
So, today we would prefer not to speak so much about certification by professional bodies or even proficiency level but about competence as an integral part of professional personality (Burukina, Vorozhbitova 2012).
We define professional personality as the totality of distinctive professional qualities and traits, especially those distinguishing professional characteristics that make one professionally and socially appealing.
As is known, the building block of successful career development is comprised of four components: skills, values, interests and personality traits. Developing the idea of Tom Denham (2010), we can state that the professional personality in tourism should include at least the following personality traits: positive attitude (“championship thinking”), enthusiasm, high ethics, goal focusing, ability to listen with interest, networking, persistence, self-awareness, self-confidence, self-discipline.
The specificity of tourism industry at large and national tourism industries in particular dictates its rules and the top five traits employers hope to find in perspective hires include professionalism (86%), high-energy (78%), confidence (61%), self-monitoring (58%), and intellectual curiosity (57%).
The concept of professional personality has been on the breeze for some time but methodologically it is still quite new and the authors are going to discuss its specific features (for tourism industry in particular) and describe their vision of its development within the higher school – industry cooperation.
Personality, professional, life-long learning, tourism industry.