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Total quality – Practice oriented education for hotel employees in Tunisia

  • Published on February 11, 2019
The tourism sector is highly relevant for Tunisia's overall economic climate. However, demand for travel to Tunisia has decreased in recent years due to Arab Spring which started in 2011 and following political instability. This development weakened the positive economic effect of the tourism sector and impacted, among others, the service quality in the hotel industry. The programme "Practice oriented education for hotel employees in Tunisia" focuses on the hitherto lack of practical experience in the Tunisian hotel education. Main problems are: Lack of practical experience in hotel education / lack of high-quality continuous trainings in the hotels Low employee motivation / low motivation to start an education in the hotel industry Lack of awareness regarding sustainability The aim of the project is to profoundly strengthen the role of practical experience in the overall education and to establish cooperations with hotel businesses as education partners in the long-term. The aim is to better integrate practical expert knowledge through direct guest contact. This practical and theoretical approach is designed with regard to sustainability aspects in particular. Two hotel schools and 12 partner hotels were selected with which the first project goals were realized: Development of a strategy for the introduction of more practical relevance and sustainability aspects into the training Development of detailed concepts for increased practical relevance Development of a detailed concept and teaching or training materials for the integration of sustainability aspects in the hotel industry training Development / adaptation of an instructor qualification for the hotel industry
Sustainability has played a subordinate role in Tunisian hotel education and has been limited to environmental sustainability. The content did not focus on hotel or tourism-specific aspects, so trainees are unable to apply sustainability to a business or destination. We were given the opportunity to rewrite the teaching content of the subject Environmental Education. The following changes were made by us: Explanation of the concept of the 3 pillars of sustainability Application of the 3 pillars concept in a tourist destination Application of the 3 pillars concept in a hotel Solving specific difficulties related to the sustainable development of a hotel We are very proud that our proposals have been completely taken over by the CENAFFIF (Tunisian authority, responsible for the content of the course) and will be taught in all state-owned Tunisian hotel schools in the future. This will give the current generation of apprentices a new perspective on sustainable tourism and enable them to apply sustainability in their later work. All teachers who teach this subject have received training to integrate the changes into their lessons. Through class visits, questionnaires and question time with the trainees, we will assess after about 6 months how the changes are taught.

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