UNWTO Conference on Talent Development and Education in Tourism (LIVE Stream Available)


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November 23, 2015

unwto bilbao conference education and tourism

WHAT: UNWTO Conference on Talent Development and Education in Tourism
WHEN: December 1 - 2, 2015
WHERE: Bilbao, Spain // LIVE Stream on Conference Website Available

Background: Need for Supporting Professional Development in Tourism

The tourism sector accounts for significant GDP contributions to many nations worldwide. However, the tourism labour market is currently experiencing uncertainty due to a lack of skillful and professional tourism acumen. Under these conditions, there is a dire need to address strategies to attract, retain and develop all levels of human capital in tourism, as such challenge poses a significant threat to the efficiency and competitiveness of this labour intensive service sector.

All sectors, including tourism, depend upon innovation for their competitive success, and innovation comes, in part, from the knowledge of the workforce. The tourism labour market faces even more fundamental underlying challenges where the general public lacks awareness about the far-reaching benefits of the tourism sector. Due to the transversal characteristics of the sector, the value of tourism as an economic, employment and development stimulator is often underestimated.

In order to positively impact potential talented workforce and to improve the public awareness of the sector, tourism industry employers and all relevant stakeholders should join forces for a collaborative training and educational strategy.

To address some of these long-standing challenges, the UNWTO Knowledge Network in collaboration with University of Deusto (UNWTO Affiliate Member) is launching the UNWTO Conference on Talent Development and Education in Tourism. Throughout the Conference, there will be thought-provoking discussions, inspiring interviews and case studies which will set the platform to enhance the collaboration to foster tourism education and to advance innovation in tourism.

Conference Objectives

The Conference aims to hold debates on the current challenges of education in tourism, the tourism labour market, talent development and tourism and labour policy development. The technical sessions will be held to address the needs, benefits and issues surrounding talent development of the tourism sector, as well as generate a platform for the exchange of success stories, challenges, experiences and identify international best practices.

Furthermore, the specific objectives are:

  • Facilitate knowledge transfer on education in tourism from the elementary to tertiary level to provide integrated means of closing the knowledge gap and promoting the significance of tourism
  • Build awareness in the public and private sector and other tourism stakeholders about the importance of attracting and promoting young talent.
  • Develop bilateral and multilateral development activities through UNWTO Knowledge Network work groups to foster young talent development to boost the potential for future leaders in tourism.

Participants: Tourism Industry Stakeholders

  • National Tourism Administrations and local governments
  • Tourism Stakeholders (tour operators, hotels, transport services, telecommunications, financial bodies, consultancy firms, chambers of commerce, etc.)
  • Academics from research institutes and universities
  • Current and Prospective Students

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