Online Sustainable Tourism Training for Travel and Tourism Industry Professionals
Through a partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), TrainingAid offers regular online training courses that look in depth into the GSTC Criteria - the global baseline standard for sustainability in travel and tourism - and its application. The training program is delivered as 4-week-long scheduled, instructor-led online courses, combining the convenience of online learning with the benefits of interactive people-focused learning to optimize results for busy professionals.
The online courses help extend the reach of the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP), allowing for more participants, including those in locations where onsite training classes are not yet available, to take advantage of the training opportunity. With the goal of sharing the benefits of professional development opportunities in sustainable tourism with a wider audience, for each of the GSTC STTP online courses a limited number of need-based discounts are available, designed for current students and professionals who demonstrate genuine needs (those working in emerging destinations, those working with micro-businesses and community organizations). In addition to offering an in-depth look into the GSTC Criteria, the global baseline standard for sustainability in travel and tourism, the STTP online course encourages tourism industry professionals to learn from international and local best practices, and plan and implement specific actions to improve their own sustainability practices. As a result of participating in the training, course participants are able to complete the training requirements towards earning the GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism, which demonstrates certificate holders' knowledge of the GSTC Criteria and ability to apply best practice recommendations into action. Since the launch of the online course component of the GSTC STTP, three courses have been completed (April 2017, June-July 2017 and October-November 2017), and three upcoming courses are scheduled for 2018. In addition to the GSTC trainers who have led the online courses, we've worked with a number of external experts contributing case studies and lessons learned, specifically related to one of the course modules (sustainability management; socioeconomic impacts and local community benefits; cultural heritage protection and promotion; and environmental conservation and resource management). To optimize the learning experience, the online course incorporates weekly live presentations and discussions, as well as group exercises, in order to allow for more "hands-on" learning opportunities. In 2017, 93% of all the GSTC online course participants, following their course completion, took the STTP Exam, with 89% of them passing the exam and achieving the GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. The first online courses in 2017 have been delivered successfully, with positive comments and recommendations from participants, such as: “The STTP programme has been a good introduction to the principles of sustainable tourism. It was a good mix of presentations and cases of sustainable tourism in real-life, insights from experts from various countries and across tourism sectors and explanation of key GSTC criteria. Participants were encouraged to share their experiences and observations through discussion forums and presentations, which made the sessions more lively. The final exam is recommended for those who wish to test their ability to put these principles to practice. I highly recommend this course to tourism industry professionals wishing to incorporate sustainable tourism management at work.” – Rajesh Nambiar, Executive Vice-President, Ottila International “The GSTC training was a great first touch point for me into the world of sustainable tourism and destination management. I loved hearing case studies from around the world and real life examples on how the GSTC criteria can make a difference. The course has enabled me to start building on these criteria within my job.” – Pia Ametsbichler, Director of Global Sales, Preferred Hotels & Resorts “As I joined the course in April 2017, the first impression was the organization, it was perfect regarding the admin efforts and the learning tools. The course materials were really useful, as well as the live sessions from which I gained a deep understanding and experience from the other participants. I really want to have the chance to thank all the team who was involved, and of course I would recommend people working in the tourism industry to join this course.” – Maged Gendy, Senior Technical Advisor, Oman Ministry of Tourism In addition, many participants have reported that they've implement specific action steps as a result of the information and inspiration they gained through the course - for example: starting a weekly staff email with sustainability tips; offering employee incentive for using public transport; organizing an educational session around food waste; etc.