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:
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:
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: