1 GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
2 DEGEIT, University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 5328-5335
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.1377
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
Within the evolving landscape of the tourism industry, the need for education and the fervor for lifelong learning stand as cornerstones crucial to propel sustainable advancements. The symbiotic relationship between education, the rejuvenation of tourism and the sustainability demands a constant search for knowledge and a steadfast commitment to skill development.

Education, particularly in the form of vocational training and specialized courses, assumes a pivotal role in equipping individuals within all sectors and namely in a tourism sector in constant change. The expertise required to navigate the complexities of sustainability is the step for the future in this sector. As the sector undergoes a paradigm shift towards eco-conscious practices and community-driven initiatives, it emerges an increasing need for professionals well-versed namely in entrepreneurship, project management, and sustainability.

Moreover, knowledge and learning become a driving force behind the transformational journey toward sustainable tourism practices. It sparks innovation and fosters a mindset geared towards problem-solving within the industry. Tourism managers and workers are inclined to seek a deeper understanding of environmental challenges and proactively engage in finding innovative solutions.

In this context, the alignment between educational endeavors and industry demands assumes paramount significance. A sustainable project manager within the tourism sector, for instance, means unique skills such as links environmental consciousness, business insight, and community engagement. Tailoring educational and training programs to not only meet but also anticipate these requisites becomes essential.

The synergy between education and the revitalization of the tourism sector also underscores the need for collaborative platforms. Initiatives that facilitate the exchange of knowledge between academic institutions, vocational training centers, research institutions, and industry stakeholders are imperative. These platforms may foster a dynamic environment where theoretical learning converges with practical applications, enabling the co-creation of innovative solutions that harmonize economic prosperity with environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, knowledge and learning become a catalyst for industry professionals to actively engage in market-based research activities. This involvement, not only enhances their understanding of evolving market dynamics, but also enables them to contribute meaningfully to the development of sustainable practices within their tourism organizations.

For our research, through a focus group approach, individuals seasoned in entrepreneurship, tourism sustainability, project management, and vocational education were engaged. Our aim is not only to understand how we may develop the skill set of a sustainable project manager in an online training course but also aimed to pave the way for a collaborative nexus between tourism stakeholders in order to find the dynamic needs of the sector. The research methodology, through employing online interviews supplemented by a comprehensive repository of questions on accessible platforms, ensured inclusivity and active participation, marking a significant stride towards bridging the gap between academia and industry in order to answer the needs for the pursuit of sustainable tourism practices.
Sustainability, Tourism, Competencies.