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UNWTO to advance tourism training for informal sector in developing countries

Sep 4, 2011 2:30:24 PM - www.ft.lk

Capacity building and knowledge transfer are at the centre of competitive destinations and sustainable development efforts. A new project, High Impact Tourism Training (HITT), implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation with support from UNWTO, will provide training to 8,000 tourism workers and entrepreneurs from the informal sector in seven developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.   
The project, counting on funds of euro 2 million from the European Union, will provide vocational tourism training in Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal and Vietnam – countries where tourism is increasingly a leading source of employment and economic growth.

Government and private vocational training institutions will work together to strengthen their capacity to reach and properly attend the informal sector demand for training. Workers and entrepreneurs will receive practical tourism training in major working areas to further their technical and management skills and increase their income possibilities, as well as their resilience to potential crisis situations. Participants will also benefit from links established through the project with the mainstream tourism sector, which will open opportunities for entrepreneurs and workers.     

Each of the seven pilot countries is home to one or more of UNWTO’s Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) and/or Technical Cooperation projects which aim at reducing poverty among the local community through sustainable forms of tourism. Local communities involved in these projects will directly benefit from HITT, which will be implemented through a multi-stakeholders alliance involving national and local governments, syndicates, technical and vocational education and training providers, and private sector.
Tourism is one of the world’s largest job creators and currently accounts for one in every twelve jobs globally. HITT will be largely directed towards the most vulnerable groups of society, such as rural communities, youth and women, among which unemployment is particularly high and where tourism is a key employment opportunity.
Since 2004, UNWTO and SNV have been working together to reduce poverty levels through sustainable tourism. Together the two organisations have provided technical and financial support to over 50 ST-EP projects worldwide, as well as several UNWTO Technical Cooperation projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Balkans.

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