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upskilling private tourism accommodation


Why is the project needed?

Europe is the world's no. 1 tourist destination, with the highest density and diversity of tourist attractions. The European region, as a whole, represents 51.7% of the total world arrivals, of which the EU-28 countries represent 39.5%. As a result, the tourist industry has become a key sector of the European economy, generating over 10% of EU GDP (directly or indirectly) and employing 9.7m citizens in 1.8m businesses.

According to Eurostat, already in 2009, private rented accommodation in Europe covered as much as 13% of the total of holiday (4 nights or more) accommodations, a percentage much larger than that occupied by certain types of collective establishments. Data of 2014 show that in Croatia around 48% of beds available are private accommodations (PA) while 27% of tourists select PA, covering a 35,9% of the total of overnights. Moreover, private tourism accommodations are increasingly gaining ground in many countries, including Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Spain but even worldwide, with many tourists opting for private rooms, apartments, residences, etc. looking for more freedom, more privacy, more interaction with the local businesses and cultures, low cost vacation - especially when it comes to families and groups, or being closer to nature by staying for example in B&Bs in farms, or closeby areas of cultural heritage, etc.

It is estimated that the prospects and potential for growth in this area of tourism is immense across countries but the needs and challenges of the service providers and the renting of private accommodations have not been addressed. According to forecasts by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in about a decade, Europe’s market share is expected to decline, compared to other regions of the world that will continue to grow, mainly Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

In this respect, the European tourism industry needs to plan ahead in order to stay competitive, support and exploit areas with great growth potential, like the area of private tourism accommodation services, which not only responds to the developments expected, but addresses also the upcoming trends identified:

  • trips and holidays will become all the more tailor-made and diversified, moving beyond the traditional 3S (“sun, sea and sand”)
  • the European demographic change (ageing Europe) will require the industry to adapt to this market niche
  • “LOHAS” trend: “Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability” involving increased environmental awareness by the tourists, greater interest in health, well-being, nature and leisure activities
  • increased use of ICT when planning the trip and also after arrival at the destination
  • increase of low cost and efficient business models.

What are the project objectives?

The overall goal of the Rooms to VET project is to maintain and increase the competitiveness of the European tourism industry by supporting the upskilling and professionalisation of tourism services, with a focus on tourism services provided by owners of private accommodations, small residences and family arrangements and the exploitation by them of all opportunities and tools available at national and European level in this respect.

The specific objectives of the project are therefore to:

  • Make available to providers of private tourism accommodations and residences the necessary knowledge to plan their business, identify and successfully address the main challenges and trends
  • Help private tourism accommodation providers to face-lift and professionalise their services in order to capture economic benefits, including from alternative kinds of tourism, ie. cruise, business tourism
  • Identify and raise awareness about certification tools and systems available, including the tools and systems that the European Union has developed in this respect, and the ways to make use of them
  • Examine the different legal frameworks and standards pertaining to their kind of business
  • Raise awareness about the value and methodology of developing networks among tourism stakeholders, including tour operators, activities’ providers, etc.

Who does the project address?

Rooms to VET project mainly addresses providers and wannabe providers (owners, managers, staff) of private tourism accommodation services, including apartments, small residences and family arrangements as well as VET trainers in the project target countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Spain) and beyond.

At the same time, it aims to involve tourism-related associations and organisations at all levels, other businesses directly or indirectly related to the tourism industry (travel agencies, ranches, wineries, etc.), tourism-related policy-makers and administrative bodies (tax, authorities, etc.) and, certainly, tourists, customers and end consumers.

What does the project offer?

On the basis of an extensive research, best practices identification and a thorough needs analysis, Rooms to VET project will develop learning material and a free, online training platform to help the providers of private tourism accommodation services make the most of their tourism activities or businesses and grasp the profit from the emerging sustainable and alternative tourism trends.

The training platform will consist of 6 Modules, translated in all 5 project languages (English, Croatian, Greek, Slovenian, Spanish) on different and equally important aspects:

  • Module 1: Hospitality and service culture
  • Module 2: Planning for success
  • Module 3: Running your business day to day
  • Module 4: Face-lifting your business
  • Module 5: Creative and innovative products and services
  • Module 6: Promoting and selling effectively
More on project outcomes
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