March 15, 2013

Sustainable Destination: Education and training.

In the challenge of getting sustainability in tourism destination there are different crossroads that give at this task a difficult character. Most of people that work helping at tourism to get more sustainable, know very well the three pillars of sustainability. But through the years working and traveling I‘ve realized that most of times when planners develop sustainability plans for destination and specifically community involvement, it is just taken into account the level of training, focusing in training to develop a specific task that allow people to work into tourism industry or others activities that help its functioning.
But, what about formal education?, In all my travels and specifically in my last visit to Brazil I could see that in small villages where tourism is developed most of time there is not secondary schools, and if students want to continue studying they have to leave their villages. Most of them don’t have enough money to do it or prefers working in the tourism industry. My second question is what will happen with those small villages if the world economy goes down, there is a natural catastrophe, a new disease appears, or a war starts, and tourists do not go anymore, or the number of arrivals goes down until 30 %?. Obviously we will have a terrible economy disaster, because most of people are trained in the different topics involving the tourism industry, but not in formal education because it was left beside.
This point is very tricky to resolve and should be bear into account when certifying a destination as sustainable. According to me this work has to be done by the public sector with the commitment and support of the private one.

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