Education is needed to safeguard tourism’s future

It’s hard to believe that for the majority of us in the UK and beyond it has been three years since we were able to travel for anything other than essential business reasons.

As we contemplate the opportunities we have to take those long-awaited trips, we find not only the world and its travel, tourism and hospitality sector greatly changed, but also our perceptions of our own place in it.

The pandemic did far more than simply close down our ability to travel to distant shores and either rest and relax on beaches or learn about the wonders of new culture, ancient geography and beautiful architecture.

A lot happened in the two years that, cumulatively, moved focus away from that sense of migratory deprivation we all felt in confinement and instead forced us to consider both how we impact on our world as a species and how we now make mass tourism environmentally sustainable.

Education is at the heart of both these things.

In fundamental commercial terms, education and learning will inform the nature and path of recovery in a sector decimated by enforced closure and the collapse of the job economy that sustained it. In essence, how do we quickly replace the skills that have been lost to us?

But the challenges ahead are more complex than simply returning to a previously accepted status quo.

In addition to equipping our industry with the key skills, knowledge and expertise needed to secure the sector’s immediate future over the next 12 to 36 months, we also need to act now to create learning pathways that serve to reinvent the environmental proposition that travel presents.

The adverse, negative impacts of global travel were laid bare in myriad ways during our period of global lockdown.

Few among us, for example, can fail to have been staggered by images of crystal-clear water running through the canals of Venice just a few short weeks after the cruise liners and other powered waterway traffic disappeared from the city’s lagoon.

In Los Angeles – famous for the smog that routinely sits on its skyline – lower emissions served to improve air quality exponentially, benefiting health and the effect of noxious gases on both flora and fauna.

A 2-year period of lower emissions worldwide seen in a cliff drop in air, marine and road travel will have led to equivalent benefits in other parts of the world, from cities to rainforest.

Other benefits may be less obvious. It’s thought, for example, that the global disruption to supply lines caused by lockdown almost certainly led to a huge reduction in poaching and trade in furs and ivory.

And the ripple effect of lockdown also triggers interesting consequences in other respects. The cessation of movement around the globe led to negative impacts, such as an increase in the use of plastics and other non-recyclables.

But this, too, provokes positive responses with commerce then forced to reconsider how it delivers service and goods that are less reliant on such products.

The small steps taken in response to the negative environmental impact of lockdown – e.g. increased charges for plastic bags, a ban on plastic drinking straws by cinemas and the like, and an uptick in recyclable fuels and materials – will all eventually evolve into the kind of momentum that will slow mankind’s footprint on the earth.

What does this mean for those of us in the hospitality and tourism industries and the way we might now choose to provide vocational education and training?

Doubtless, as time goes on, there will be many consequences in this regard, but one certainty is surely that we must ensure that the journeys and experiences we create for others do as little damage as possible.

We must find ways of ensuring that the industry’s future leaders – the generation of caretakers we are currently educating in our schools, colleges, businesses, and universities – are able to think in new ways to build a solutions-based approach to travel in the medium to long term.

How do we get people to where they want to be whilst also reducing our dependence on current resources and technologies? What role should we play in helping lawmakers and environmental advocacy programmes to re-educate travellers in how they access fragile cultures and eco-systems?

This will require us to work alongside technology innovators to encourage and inform the changes that are needed in supply and logistics chains, and to find new and effective ways of collaborating with our stakeholders to communicate shared goals and objectives.

The reward for that will likely be a travel and tourism sector that is more resilient and robust, more accessible, and more responsible.

GTTP Kenya: Shift In The Tourism Industry

GTTP Kenya have released their latest quarterly newsletter: Shift In The Tourism Industry, with an introduction from the Country Director of GTTP East Africa: Joseph Okelo.

Find out about how according to Dominic Wanjiru “a resilient tourism sector would be guided by sustainability, safety (health/security, responsibility, and innovation.”

Also inside this edition you can read about the musings of a volunteer, the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education in Kenya, and a review of the GTTP Kenya program overall.

Read the newsletter here.

GTTP Russia student competition: Biomimetic protection for travellers.

The Online Innovation Camp on November 24-26 focused on new and creative solutions in hospitality business. The challenge was to suggest the ways hotels can transform their strategies and products to address safety concerns amid and post-COVID. Over three days 38 teams of talented students from 15 cities across Russia worked on their solutions. The winning team suggested a gadget designed to effectively keep physical distancing measures in place for hotel employees and guests. 1st runner up suggested a complex of new products and services that prioritize safety and sanitization to protect guests’ and employees’ health.

“Today, on January 20, we attended a lecture by an employee of the leading global travel network, Amadeus, and learned what kind of company it is; how many airlines work with Amadeus; where they mostly get their income from; about the prospects of Amadeus, as well as how the company wants to improve the environmental situation in the world. This lecture broadened my horizons. And I realized that you can try different jobs in different areas to find the job that is really good for you, and that it can be a job in travel & tourism. I want to thank Charoula Gkioka, Junior Achievement and GTTP for this experience.” GTTP Russia student.

“GTTP Mentoring Marathon was different from all previous events and trainings that I had attended before, in its informativeness and variety of experiences. It combined lecturing, practical training, business games and speed networking with professionals. One of the most memorable events was employability training. For the first time in my life I developed a resume and went through a mock interview with a real recruiter. Strange, but I had never thought about what to write and tell about myself in order to reveal to the employer exactly those qualities and abilities that are required, and had not realized how consistently and clearly it should be done. Extraordinary experience! Very useful for my future!” GTTP Russia student.

«To begin with, I want to thank the organizers of GTTP Innovation camp. I was so surprised and excited to find out that, despite the pandemic, we are still granted the opportunity to participate in a inspiring event that challenges us to come up with innovation ideas and think how to make them real. What’s more is that the chosen topic – how the hotels can transform their strategies and products to address safety concerns amid and post-COVID is so extremely important for tourists, for hospitality industry and T&T. It was a real challenge and a great pleasure to work on and present our decision, and to listen to other teams’ suggestions – so very interesting and hopefully really useful for the hospitality industry.» GTTP Russia student.

Inside Track. Tourism Education News from Brazil

Olá from Brazil! A country where tourism is full of opportunities.
Dr. Mariana Aldrigui

I was invited to join GTTP 12 years ago, as a teacher trainer for an educational program developed throughout the country. When this program ended, I was invited to coordinate GTTP actions in Brazil, which was and still is an honour. As a university researcher, my focus is Tourism Development and Tourism Education

Back in 2012 I decided to present GTTP’s Passport to the World to all my 1st year students, who are normally eager to understand this whole new universe. Most of them have never heard about the possibilities related to technology and tourism… when, in 2019, Passport to the World was upgraded to an online course, it became a double opportunity – engage more students and develop their English skills (as, you may remember, Brazilians speak Portuguese).

As the academic year in Brazil runs from March to December, this will be an online year for most students who are now deeply concerned with their career opportunities. Teachers are doing their best and have not only used the regular content, but also included virtual visits to international destinations, heritage sites, museums, galleries, and many other options related to tourism careers

Also, some experts from different tourism areas have been talking to our students using the virtual conference apps that we are now all used to – sharing their views on how tourism will recover from the negative impacts of Covid. 

What amazes me the most? Every single one of them is optimistic.They not only believe in a sustainable recovery but also have encouraged students to understand tourist motivations by analyzing social media posts as well as sharing statistics from reliable sources such as WTTC, IATA and Skift.

As for the students, it has been a tough year – they are concerned with their future possibilities and anxious to understand what tourism will be. And that is why we, at GTTP Brazil, are trying to share a lot of good international examples and inspire them to look for creative alternatives, hoping for a better and sustainable future for all.

Hero Story

Larissa Pantalena and Mayara Correa were the two students chosen to  represent Brazil at the GTTP Students & Teachers conference in Nice, 2019. They came back totally energized and inspired by what they learned. They will be speaking to all new students this year, inviting them to join the program and sharing their experiences. We have asked them to summarize their experiences, adding the challenge of dealing with Covid-19:

Larissa Pantalena, 18 years old “Covid-19 has practically stopped all tourism in the world. I feel this is a moment where we, as students, should learn how to be patient and persevering, searching online for creative initiatives and examples to inspire us. I always remember how fantastic the conference was, and how much knowledge there was in the same room – a sample of this amazing world! Chatting with my friends from GTTP, each one in a different country, made me understand a lot about how we are equals, despite the cultural differences. I hope this pandemic will be over soon, so more people get to travel again and learn a lot” 

Mayara Correa, 19 years old “Winning the GTTP Case Study competition in 2019 made me realize that travelling and learning is not impossible, even for people with background similar to mine. I am really concerned about the tourism market for this young generation – it all has stopped! – and I am anxious to see the world back to a “normal” state and understand how my career will develop. Being in Nice was an extraordinary experience that I will carry with me forever, as it made me believe not only in my choices, but in me as a capable human being!” 

Now let’s hear from Anne:

I remember meeting these two students at Nice airport and suggested we share a taxi to the hotel.  They were full of excitement and optimism, both for their time in Nice and their future careers in travel and tourism.  I hope their stories will inspire future  students to join GTTP, take part in the research competition and for the lucky competition winners, to experience something special as Mayara and Larissa did in Nice. 

Inside Track – Tourism Education News from New Zealand

By Matt Stenton, Director GTTP New Zealand

Kia ora from New Zealand! The latest country to join the GTTP. The first ever edition of this newsletter is proudly brought to you by Matt Stenton, one of GTTP’s newest directors.  In my day-to-day life, I am the Programme Director for a government-funded initiative known as ‘Go with Tourism’, which launched in 2019 to build New Zealand’s tourism workforce. Education was always an important element of our programme, but it will almost become our sole focus over the next few months. Of course, GTTP’s Passport to the World course will play a big role. 

When New Zealand entered lockdown on 25 March 2020, many people were beginning to lose their jobs. Since this date, the education section on our website is our fourth most visited page! Additionally, we’ve had close to 1000 people view the Passport to the World webpage on our site. 

We know that New Zealand is on the bucket list for many people around the world. Therefore, tourism is still a crucial industry to be invested in; and now, more than ever, stimulating an interest in tourism education is a vital part of rebuilding our industry. As the New Zealand Director for GTTP, you can count on me to do my part. 

Go with Tourism 2020

Let me tell you what we have planned so far: Prior to COVID-19 we were working on delivering a national GTTP training programme for secondary school teachers and tertiary educators; now we’re working with the US Embassy to take it online. 

The Go with Tourism Education Programme will see our regional coordinators visit schools to conduct sessions on tourism careers with the students there, You can count on us promoting Passport to the World in these sessions. 

The Go with Tourism Expos will take place in four major cities this August and September and again, we will be actively promoting the Passport to the World course at these events. 

Hero Story

Go with Tourism’s Intern turned Project Coordinator Leticia Smith, shares her experience with the passport to the world program:

“I see real value in the Passport to the World course being offered as an introduction to the industry, especially for those who are new to tourism or for those who may be thinking of studying tourism further. I felt that there were a couple of people from my class who struggled, who would have benefited from taking this course. Our first assessment was about the ‘State of Tourism in New Zealand’ and I think this would have been a perfect segue.”  To hear more from Leticia – Read More

Now lets hear from from Anne:

”I am delighted to welcome New Zealand on board with GTTP.   With Matt’s energy and drive and a vision for how tourism will develop under the Go With Tourism banner, I feel very confident that new ways will be found to attract visitors your beautiful country.  Well done too on the fantastic achievement of having nearly 1000 people access the Passport course.   What a great start.  Welcome New Zealand to the GTTP family.”

GTTP Board Member from Amadeus visits a GTTP Russia high school

by Nina Kuznetsova, Director GTTP Russia

Classroom visits are one of the best forms of careers education. Hearing first-hand from professionals about career options is very insightful and inspiring for students.

During her recent classroom visit in Moscow, Charoula Gkioka, who serves on the GTTP Advisory Board and is a Senior Advisor of Industry Affairs at Amadeus, met high school students to talk about career opportunities in Travel & Tourism. Charoula’s presentation followed by a lively Q&A session helped students understand more about the industry including career options that they may not have known about or considered.

Meeting Charoula was a “wow experience” for students who appreciated the opportunity to gain a “real-world” perspective from a professional, and they’d like to see classroom visits continue at their school.

Students’ testimonials:

“It was interesting to learn about career opportunities and a wide range of jobs, and the various skills useful for job searching and applying for a job.”

“This lecture broadened my horizons. And I realized that you can try different jobs in different areas to find the job that is really good for you, and that it can be a job in travel & tourism.”

“This lecture aroused my interest in working in the transport infrastructure. In addition, today’s lecture once again reminded me about the importance of career choices which I need to make in the near future. It was really useful to hear about Charoula’s experience, which she shared so openly and willingly.”

“This lecture allowed me to deepen my understanding of the world of work. Participation in such events helps expand horizons and determine the scope of my future activities.”

“Such lectures are very important, because they help us learn about interesting careers in the modern world.”

“One of the important things I realized listening to Charoula was that just in few years, like her before she started working at Amadeus, I might have different jobs and work for different organizations, and that I need to be prepared for that and develop skills to succeed.”

“Access to information is of enormous importance in today’s world. I am very grateful to Charoula, GTTP and Junior Achievement for the opportunity to learn about exciting professional options first-hand. Thank you!”

Student research winners from 12 nations presented findings at Nice, France conference hosted by Global Travel and Tourism Partnership

The Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) announced that 24 secondary and tertiary students from 12 countries were selected as 2017 Student Research Competition winners out of approximately 2,000 entries. The students presented their case study research findings at the GTTP’s annual student/teacher conference this November 27 – 28 in Nice, France.

The winning pupils at the GTTP conference discussed how the growing trend for travelers to combine their business and leisure trips (“Bleisure travel”) can attract more visitors and enhance the tourist experience in their respective countries. The students also explained their views on the role of sustainability and technology in supporting Bleisure tourism development.

The countries represented this year by the students and their accompanying teachers included: Brazil, China, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Student competition entrants research GTTP-assigned topics, which vary year to year. Working in teams, the students develop their skills in research, analytics, and communications, all of which are essential for a successful career in Travel & Tourism.

This competition is sponsored by the GTTP’s Global Partners and the Aldo Papone Endowment. In addition, Amadeus provided the conference facilities at its Executive Briefing Centre in Sophia Antipolis. Marriott International, another GTTP Global Partner, provided meals and hotel rooms at Le Méridien, Nice. The GTTP Global Partners Amex, dnata, Eurostar, HRG, Hertz and Travelport sponsored tables at this year’s event awards dinner.

Angelica Mkok, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Amadeus IT Group, commented: “Amadeus is proud to continue sponsoring the GTTP global educational program in travel and tourism. Supporting young people in their personal and professional development within this industry is a key priority for Amadeus. We enjoyed hosting again the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership annual awards ceremony and hearing inspiring ideas on Bleisure travel from this year’s finalists.”


Hemma Varma, Senior Manager, Social Impact & Global Responsibility Europe, Marriott International, said: “The work being done by GTTP is significantly helping to ensure thousands of students around the world are aware of the great opportunities our industry has to offer. We are happy to continue our tradition of supporting programs like the GTTP global educational program in travel in tourism.  With 1 in 10 jobs tied to the hospitality industry worldwide, GTTP is helping to ensure a bright, fulfilling career path for many, and a pipeline of talent for our hotels.”


Michel Taride, Chair of the GTTP Advisory Board and Group President of Hertz International, said: “Many congratulations to this year’s GTTP student research winners, who prepared fascinating case studies on the opportunities for Bleisure tourism in their home country and the role that sustainability and technology plays in this area. GTTP has had an unwavering commitment over the past two decades to attract bright stars such as these young people to the travel and tourism industry to secure its future development.”


Nancy Needham, Executive Director, GTTP, added: “The students did an excellent job this year. The core mission of GTTP is to expose young people to the many different kinds of professional careers offered by the Travel & Tourism Industry. By changing the student research topic each year, we also introduce students to issues and trends affecting the industry and the people who work in it. We could not do all this without the involvement and support of the industry leaders who guide GTTP.”

The GTTP, established in 1996, currently operates in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, and United Kingdom. Some 467,000 students participated in the GTTP. School systems provide teachers and classrooms. Approximately 1,500 local and international companies share their expertise with teachers and students and provide financial and in-kind support.

The international industry leaders currently supporting the GTTP are Amadeus, American Express, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, dnata, Enterprise Holdings, Eurostar, The Hertz Corporation, Hogg Robinson Group, KDS, Marriott International, and Travelport. Their executives serve on GTTP’s Advisory Board.

About GTTP

The Global Travel and Tourism Partnership is an industry philanthropic initiative to foster future talent and tackle the global skills shortage. The GTTP educates secondary and tertiary school students about careers in Travel and Tourism at a time when they are making career and education choices. The GTTP works in 15 countries in Europe, Africa, East Asia and North and South America. It serves some 667,000 students in more than 4,600 schools. For more about GTTP visit or Facebook.

GTTP Hong Kong teachers on a mission

by Chammy Lau, Director of GTTP Hong Kong

A new GTTP Hong Kong Teachers’  Cruise Operations training day was successfully held last month.

Supported by Dream Cruises and its local sales agent (Lotus Tours), a group of 25 GTTP teachers as well as myself embarked their new ship “Genting Dream Cruise” with cocktail receptions provided.

Dream Cruises, debuted in November 2016, is the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line that chose its homeport in Hong Kong this season and runs an itinerary within the South China Sea as well as to Japan.

Right after an intensive 3-hour Ship Walk tour, we visited the Hong Kong Cruise & Yacht Industry Association (located in the Cruise Terminal) to better understand the education and career planning opportunities for hospitality and tourism students in Hong Kong.

We also took the opportunity of this occasion to promote all four GTTP student competitions to encourage greater participation.





GTTP conference changed my perception of the world, by 2011 Student Research Winner, João Pedro Pierini

In 2011 when I was in my first year of high school, I was invited by my cousin, who was then taking a tourism course, to participate in a travel education program by the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP). Until then, the tourism industry was quite unknown to me and I didn’t have much idea what it was about. In this program, I developed over a whole year a detailed case study on Tourism and Festivals, having chosen the history of the Brazilian Carnaval as the theme.

At the end of the year, the Brazil team, of which I was part, was invited to present our project in Monaco and represent our own country in an international student/teacher conference organized by the GTTP. At the event, contact with other cultures and my first steps in the English language changed my perception of the world, which contributed decisively in my personal, intellectual and professional formation.

From this trip, I realized that I had found my first signs of the professional career that I wanted to build and follow, which determined the tourism course I chose for university. I currently study Tourism Management at FATEC São Paulo, a very broad course that allows us to work in the most diverse areas of this profession, such as agencies, hotels, cruises, airlines and others. During the course, which provides for a mandatory internship, I had the opportunity offered by FATEC to train in hotels in France.

JP at Les Saints Pères in Montagnole,  Rhônes-Alpes

The fact of having established relationships with different people from various parts of the world in Monaco and keeping them in touch through the internet facilitated my contact and my learning of other languages besides English, such as French and Italian.

I completed my internship program in France in 2016, working during the European summer season in a hotel-restaurant called Les Saints Pères, based the French Alps region. During the time I spent there  I performed diverse tasks, both in the hotel, as chamberlain, and in the restaurant, as a waiter, where I spent most of the time. The tasks basically consisted of performing all the functions related to the preparation and service of the restaurant and the events in general.

From these two experiences I was sure that I had chosen the most favorable career that fits my profile because I can use my language skills and work with different cultures in an area that still has a lot to be developed and explored in Brazil.



At the annual student/teacher conference hosted by the GTTP in 2011 in Monaco.
Left to right: Mariana Aldrigui (Director GTTP Brazil)
João Pedro (JP) Pierini de Oliveira
Ray Shanks (Retired Director GTTP Ireland)
Dr Nancy Needham (Executive Director, GTTP)
Beatriz Pina (Brazil team)
Beatriz Bork (Brazil team teacher)

The research study competition theme in 2011 was Festival Tourism. Based on their winning case study, JP and Beatriz from Centro Paula Souza (São Paulo) high school were invited to represent Brazil at the conference.

A Retrospective: Looking Back On Our 20th Anniversary Celebrations – Part 1

Throughout 2016, the Global Travel Tourism Partnership team and community have celebrated the foundation’s 20 years of success in teaching more than 2 million high school and tertiary students about travel, tourism and hospitality careers as well as sustainability issues.

In Part 1 of our retrospective, we feature highlights of our exciting events and activities that took place from January to June 2016 to mark our 20th Anniversary.  Keep a lookout for Part 2 coming out soon, which will cover events from July to December 2016.


We were honored with special words from Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), who said:

“Tourism’s true value is in its people. UNWTO, as the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, would like to congratulate the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership for the immense contribution it has made over the last 20 years to tourism development by educating youth around the world on the potential of a career in tourism.”

We issued a press release with Mr Rifai’s quote along with additional supporting remarks from our GTTP Advisory Board Members, and unveiled our special 20th Anniversary logo and fact sheet.


GTTP Philippines, with Nur Laminero as the Director, officially launched through the sponsorship of dnata, a GTTP Global Partner. Dr. Attila Horvath, the GTTP Hungary director (pictured on the far right), conducted training for the dnata Travel trainers to create a core team to conduct a knowledge transfer to the partner schools throughout the rest of the year.


GTTP Hong Kong, which is led by Director Chammy Lau, held a seminar to provide students the opportunity to meet with travel industry partners in a casual and relaxed setting.  In addition, industry experts shared some of their thoughts in two panel discussions: “Role of National Tourists Office on destination promotion for both leisure and business travel” and “Impacts of Travel Technology on the changing role of travel intermediates.” A cake cutting ceremony rounded off the 20th Anniversary birthday celebration.



At this two-day event held by GTTP Russia, students were given a challenge and a limited amount of time to develop a viable business concept related to Heritage Tourism. Yulia Khivantseva, HR Manager, CWT Russia, wrote about her experiences as a judge at this 20th anniversary celebration event on our blog here. GTTP Russia is directed by Nina Kuznetsova.



In honor of our 20th Anniversary, Dean Forbes, the Chief Executive Officer of KDS, and GTTP Advisory Partner, hosted a Question and Answer session for students and teachers to ask for his views on careers in travel and tourism. The event was held via Twitter, a social media format where people post “tweets,” a very short communication which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text.

As a result the campaign generated 57,603 impressions with 15,230 accounts reached. In addition the GTTP attracted 22 more Twitter followers.



At the GTTP’s April Board Meeting, Dr Nancy J. Needham, Executive Director, and those Advisory Board members in attendance celebrated the GTTP’s 20th Anniversary with a special cake.



In South Africa, twenty tourism teachers from 20 schools attended a 2 day content, assessment and methodology training session. GTTP’s South Africa Director Elsabé Engelbrecht developed the training manual and materials and acted as facilitator.  The teachers who successfully completed the program received an International GTTP certificate.


GTTP East Africa held a 20th Anniversary Celebration event in Nairobi, Kenya. Speakers included officials from the Ministries of Tourism and Education. Key stakeholders addressed the students from 12 member schools. Overall the event was very well received and all our partners and stakeholders were highly impressed with how the program is working with the students. As a result some new partners are ready and willing to participate in the program. GTTP East Africa includes Kenya and Tanzania. The Director of GTTP East Africa and Kenya is Joseph Okelo.



GTTP Canada posted congratulatory messages and celebrated the relationship between the Canadian Academy of Travel and Tourism and the GTTP on social media and in their communications materials, particularly during Canada’s National Tourism Week, May 29 – June 4, 2016. The Director of GTTP Canada is Heather Elder.



Watch this space for Part 2 coming soon!

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