Overcoming skills gap and fostering mobility in Tourism sector trough the recognition, validation and up-skilling of intercultural competences for tourism jobs

EU-Programme: Erasmus+, KA2, Strategic Partnerships for adult education
Coordination: SUD CONCEPT (France)
Duration: September 2015 – August 2017

Tourism is very important for the European economy, accounting for over 5% of EU GDP and employing an estimated 15.2 million persons. The employment in the tourism sector presents also an important percentage of the total employment in the partner´s countries of CULTOUR project; France (10.5), Portugal (18.2), Spain (15.8), Turkey (8.4), Italy (11.6) and Bulgaria (12.2).

Tourism has one of the highest labour mobility rates across Europe, permitting discussion of the emergence of a truly European economic sector and a labour market with a truly European dimension. Nevertheless, skills shortage in tourism jobs is putting at real risk the employment in the sector. Thus, the identification of skill needs for the sector in Europe has a particular significance.

The partners of CULTOUR project have identified that one main area of skills gap in tourism sector is related with the growing requirement of intercultural competencies necessary to deal with customers, co-workers and employees. This skills gap is transversal to the tourism sector and affects a wide range of professional roles, including employees, instructors and employers.

A key factor to be taken also into account is that formal qualifications are not always required in tourism and there is a widely available opportunity to obtain qualifications by an alternative to formal education. Taking into account the very high proportion of personnel without formal qualifications, validation of informal and non-formal learning is crucial. The EQF is meant to address this problem and the ECVET tools and methodology should greatly assist with workers mobility.


CULTOUR project aims to overcome the skills gap and foster mobility in Tourism sector trough the recognition, validation and up-skilling of intercultural competences for tourism jobs. CULTOUR project shall integrate the intercultural competencies dimension in new VET training products, specifically addressed for tourism sector jobs and use innovative tools for the recognition and validation of these competencies.

To do so, six partner organizations (VET providers, companies and social partners) from six countries (France,

Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Bulgaria) will work together to develop CULTOUR project, in order to define innovative common strategies and products to reduce the skills gap of intercultural competencies in tourism sector trough VET.

Project Nº 2015-1-FR01-KA202-015290

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.