GTTP students present a message of unity, diversity and multicultural cooperation


Between the 2nd and 6th of December, the GTTP (Global Travel and Tourism Partnership) welcomed students and teachers from around the world to our annual research competition and awards, hosted by Amadeus and Starwood, at the Amadeus Executive Briefing Centre and Meridien Hotel Nice.

This year’s theme – Heritage Tourism – honoured GTTP’s 20th Anniversary celebrations and looked at how Heritage Tourism can attract more visitors and enhance the tourist experience in their respective countries.

Twenty students were selected as the 2016 Student Research Competition winners from over 2,000 entries. Over the two days the students presented heritage tourism sites in their countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, and Tanzania. Supported by their teachers the young people shared their research, little known facts about “off the beaten track” sites and their suggestions for improvements of tourism while also including interactive games to involve the audience.

In addition to the opportunity to represent their country, students met with peers from around the globe, experienced different cultures, benefitted from the facilities of Amadeus’ high-tech customer briefing centre and were also given a tour of a world class hotel where they learned first-hand about work in travel and tourism.

Michel Taride, Chairman of the GTTPAdvisory Board and Group President, Hertz International commented, “It was very inspiring for all the attendees – students, teachers, directors and Partners alike – to see all these young people presenting a piece of their cultural heritage with pride and passion as part of professional case studies.

This unique event gives great confidence in terms of the future talent that will represent or even lead the Travel and Tourism industry and I am very proud of the work that GTTP does to support these brilliant students.”

The GTTP research competitions are devised to encourage the development of skills these young people will need in their careers, including critical thinking, team collaboration, research, writing and speaking. In addition, they are required to explore and reflect upon topics important to the long-term development of the travel and tourism industry, such as sustainability and technology.

This event supports GTTP’s mission to inspire and enable young people to build careers in Travel and Tourism and we are proud to know that over 2 million students have participated in GTTP programs around the world.

As a GTTP Board Member, I was inspired by the professionalism of these students. The huge effort that went into their research projects was apparent and their ability to delight the audience with facts, animation and humour – not easy when not in your native language – was equally inspiring.

Six of the projects focused on the history of indigenous people from Tanzania, Canada, Brazil, Jamaica, South Africa and Kenya. The blight of slavery and apartheid is an important reminder for current and future generations. The Jamaican message regarding that island’s ethnic mix “Out of many one people” is a timely reminder that we all have a rich genetic history, an important lesson in today’s world.

A quote from the Russian team perfectly summarises a year of preparation culminating in an enriching four day event in Nice, “each place has a story to tell.”

Reprinted with kind permission from the Amadeus Blog.



A Force For Good

By Michel Taride, Chair of the GTTP Advisory Board and Group President of Hertz International

If you are considering a career in travel and tourism then I wish to reaffirm that you are looking at a truly exciting and rewarding industry to work in.

Tourism is a Force for Good. It promotes tolerance and peace. It creates jobs and country development.   The industry encourages intercultural cooperation and employment of people from all walks of life and nationalities. It also is a force for championing – and actioning – sustainability to protect our planet and preserve our limited resources.

Working in the industry will require that you develop a truly international mindset, whether you are promoting tourism in your own country, or operating in a multi-country environment.  Many travel and tourism companies that you will come across will have cross-national teams where each member brings a specific skillset and local market competence.  You will likely also meet tourists and travellers from all different parts of the world

I myself am a good example of this kind of opportunity.  Hertz not only enabled me to work across many geographies and cultures but also helped me move from the bottom to the top of the career ladder. I started my career in one of the smallest Hertz locations in France and then eventually moved to country leadership in charge of France and Italy, and ultimately I am now the head of our International division that spreads across 3 continents.

Today the travel and tourism industry is increasingly building diverse talents and skillsets that in turn lead to greater employee mobility and global careers.  You will have a tremendous opportunity to interface with colleagues and partners from numerous different backgrounds. While working together, and when supporting customers, you will continue to break down political and cultural barriers for greater mutual respect and opportunity across geographies.

To be successful, be passionate about what you do. Passion is your drive. If you like what you do, you are going to be at your best and you are going to thrive. Think big, be willing to excel, and pay attention to the details.

Certainly, work very hard. Be flexible. The world nowadays is a tough world and you’ve got to be able to change and adapt really quickly.  While it helps to be culturally competent and even speak several languages, it is also important to be adaptable, resourceful and ready to switch between different roles.

Of course, it helps to have a little bit of luck thrown in as well but that won’t work on its own. Luck comes your way when you work hard on everything else.

Ultimately, be committed and think about people first – your customers, your colleagues, your boss.  Treating them with a positive customer service mentality will work to your advantage and makes it a happier place for everyone.

Being a Force for Good is all about the most important values: respect and equal opportunities for individuals, communities, nations, today and in the future. Good luck!

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