To maintain Europe’s leading position amongst the world's tourism destinations, the industry needs to continuously improve the quality and mobility of its staff to provide top quality, personalised services to all tourists.
Adapting tourism to globalisation and new market demands requires that efforts are made to improve the professional skills of workers in the sector.
The workforce must adapt to new technologies and changes in customer expectations. In particular, this involves the demand for customised travel experiences that can be planned, recorded and, reviewed in across multiple digital platforms. Cross-border mobility also needs to be encouraged.
Directorate General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs works on initiatives to improve professional skills in the tourism, and continuously searches for opportunities to collaborate with other DGs.
The aim of the study 'Mapping and performance check of the supply side of tourism education and training ' (2 MB) was to determine whether tourism education and training systems are fit for purpose in providing the necessary labour market skills for employers currently and in light of future anticipated market developments.
In doing so, the education and training framework and qualifications have been assessed against key criteria in the context of the current key occupations in the sector. Gaps in skills provision have been identified and good practice has been highlighted.
The conference 'EU Tourism Skills was held on 21 October 2015 in Brussels, to present the study's main findings.
The study, 'Improving information on accessible tourism for disabled people', mapped the skills needed to improve the accessibility and safety of tourism services for disabled people and people with special needs. It analysed the availability and the performance of training (both vocational and educational). The mapping exercise was complemented by a performance check of training provisions and barriers to training and an analysis of 20 case studies on skills and training provision which highlighted their strengths and weaknesses. The study was presented at a conference held in Brussels in June 2014.
Since 2014, EURES – the EU Job Mobility Portal – offers a dedicated section for generating skills passports for the tourism and hospitality sector. It allows jobseekers to present their skill profiles, document their formal and informal qualifications, and have their experiences endorsed by previous employers.
At the same time, employers can search for job candidates to fill vacancies. This tool facilitates a better match of supply and demand in the labour market and improves the mobility of European workers.
In cooperation with the industry and academia, the Commission is developing the ESCO classification (European Skills/Competences, Occupations and Qualifications) specifically dedicated to skills profiles needed in the tourism sector.
The Commission also monitors existing EU programmes for opportunities to improve professional skills in the tourism sector. Actions include: