Tourism impacts everybody whether you work in the growing tourism industry or you act as a tourist. Business, entrepreneurial, cultural bonds improve the relationships between peoples.
The 4CsF project with Italy, Romania, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Turkey will give opportunities to learn through interaction, to use practical ways to help demotivated pupils.
The areas where the schools are located have a huge touristic potential, they can attract different types of tourists but young people need to have specific skills in order to be able to start a business or to find a job in the tourism field. Every area has distinctive features but those features are not always exploited to the full by existing companies and local authorities. There are plenty of special interest tourism areas that can be better promoted and exploited in order to be more competitive on the European and world tourism market. Accessible tourism is another issue which is quite problematic in most of the areas where the partner schools are located: tourism destinations are poorly equipped to welcome disabled tourists. Students will work on the topic to become more aware of the most critical issues and to make local entrepreneurs and local authorities more aware of the problem too.
◊The French school is located in a touristic area. They do not have specific courses about tourism however they can work on how to improve tourism for disabled people thanks to the help of volunteers dealing with hearing deficiency or an association which has created an air trike adapted to mobility impaired persons. Professionals will give them a hand, too as regards how to manage a hotel.
Commerce is taught: they have a real grocery with traditional food and organic cosmetics or products, where the sales assistants are the pupils. This is the reason why they are interested in developing their students’ entrepreneurial skills in relation with the topic of Gourmet Tourism.
◊The Italian school has a tourism section which the contact person has been coordinating since it was established 7 years ago. Over the years, the students in the tourism section have been developing projects focusing on tourism, but the present project intends to take a step forward because it is not only about producing promotional material about the most interesting tourism attractions in the area but about increasing students’ future employability by enhancing their entrepreneurial and professional skills in the specific field of tourism.
◊The Turkish school is a grammar school but the teachers would like to offer their students the possibility to do traineeships in the tourism field in the future, because Istanbul is a booming tourist destination and working in tourism might be an option for some of the students;
◊ The Romanian school has already carried out a project focusing on promoting local attractions and would like to take part in the project because they are located in a border area where tourism is growing and many of their students choose to study tourism at university, hoping to get jobs in hotels, travel agencies or other tourism businesses .
◊ The Portuguese school has tourism, “reception”, ICT and restaurant attendant courses and their students would gain a very valuable hands-on experience in the tourism field by taking part in the project;
◊ The school from Cyprus does not have a specific course on tourism, but activities related to tourist attractions and cultural heritage and traditions are carried out in different subjects, because tourism is one of the most important sources of income for Cyprus. Taking part in this project would enable both students and teachers to become more focused on some of the key topics that would give the students more specific skills to be used later in life.
It is really important that the project should be carried out internationally because the students can get to know and study in depth different kinds of special interest tourism, can apply the SWOT matrix to the different places they are going to visit and can both learn from the strengths of some of the destinations, and “export” what they have learnt to other areas and destinations. Moreover tourism is an intrinsically international business, so having the opportunity to get in contact with other students, teachers and professionals working in tourism in different countries is crucial to give the students the necessary skills to become active in their career path, especially considering that all the schools intend to involve in mobilities students from disadvantaged social backgrounds who would not have the possibility to travel on their own. During mobilities pupils will either play the roles of tourists or act as tour guides.
Besides before a mobility, teachers and pupils will learn basic information as regards first aid both in English and in the country’s mother tongue in order to be able to protect themselves or save somebody’s life following a terrorist attack or a car accident.
Our partnership includes different kinds of schools on the one hand schools with early school leaving, absenteeism and poor levels of achievement on the other hand the Romanian and the Turkish schools have students who get diplomas and continue their studies at higher levels. Those teenagers will help pupils with learning difficulties thus enriching human skills and academic ones because our project lay the emphasis on entrepreneurship skills. High quality learning opportunities can further motivate both students and teachers. Being an entrepreneur of oneself is crucial to be able to position successfully on the job market . Pupils should be able to create good CVs, to face job interviews both in English and in their own languages, but they will also learn useful phrases from each partner. Everybody will improve their ICT skills (use of collaborative tools, of multimedia tools…) and last but not least communication skills (by learning how to speak in public, how to deal with professionals…)