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Motivations of this Project

Giro in bici

Tourism is one of the largest world industries, with an enormous economic and social impact. In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector accounted for 10.3 % of the global GDP and 330 million jobs, or every 1 in 10 jobs in the world. In Europe, Travel & Tourism form 9.1% of the total economy, with a growth of 2.4%, compared to 1.3% real economy growth in 2019 over 2018, which makes it one of the fastest growing industries (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2020).

Tourism is also an increasingly important aspect in the life of European citizens, more and more of whom are travelling, either for leisure or business. As an activity which impinges on cultural and natural heritage and on traditions and contemporary cultures in the European Union, tourism provides a textbook example of the need to reconcile economic growth and sustainable development, including an ethical dimension.

Additionally, in many tourism destinations the phenomenon of overtourism has grown beyond its sustainable bounds, to the detriment of local communities without leaving any serious social-economic benefits but only increasing the environmental

The pandemic of COVID-19 might be a radical wake-up call to this unsustainable way of tourism destination management. It is time for the tourism model to change to more sustainable forms in order to accommodate the more pressing public health reality.

Moreover, as with every other sector, the tourism industry is facing increasing global competition, with emerging or developing countries attracting increasing numbers of tourists. Faced with this competition, Europe must offer sustainable and high-quality tourism, playing on its comparative advantages, in particular the diversity of its countryside and extraordinary cultural wealth.

In order to achieve this objective, it is worthwhile promoting tourism destinations focused on thematic tourism products, such as: cultural heritage, protected natural sites, health and wellbeing (including spa tourism), wine and food, cultural historical, sport or religious tourism, agri-tourism, and rural tourism, and in parallel improving the relevant professional skills of the sector to provide high quality tourism services.

Furthermore, technology offers new ways to structure the way learning and teaching organised including through open, online learning to increase flexibility and teacher-student interaction. Open educational resources (OER) and learning analytics have potential to improve learning, but remain under-exploited.

In the light of all these above mentioned challenges and opportunities, the proposed project intents to support HE Faculties relative to sustainable tourism to reconsider both their educational content and methods so that they are adequate to the dynamic environment, which requires transnational cooperation and joint actions of all stakeholders.

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