Environmental responsibility has been recognized as a key factor for the competitiveness of the European tourism industry, as cultural and natural resources are the main assets of the tourism. The introduction of sustainable environmental practices requires not only a good understanding of the need for a better management, but also practical tools needed to make change happen.
The present project gathers leading organizations from different fields – education, e-learning, environment preservation and sustainable development, all of them focused to help people to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The partners have joined efforts in order to bring together their expertise in development education, innovative educational practices, e-learning and innovative managerial practices for sustainable development with the aim of creating an educational tool that will help to introduce environmental sustainability topics in the formal curricula of tourism vocational secondary schools.
The project will strengthen cooperation between the current and future needs of the tourism business and vocational schools, by presenting real case studies and providing the students with first-hand experience and will serve as a link between tourism and green economy. The project is aimed at integrating environmental management into the formal educational curricula of secondary vocational schools focused on tourism by developing an innovative online tool. The tool will give a realistic overview of the functioning of tourism businesses, and will highlight the impact of managerial decisions on the environment in the form of dynamic and interactive mind maps where the user will be able to adjust the business model.
Delivering this target requires young people with the skills, knowledge and commitment to build a more competitive low-carbon economy that makes efficient and sustainable use of resources, protects the environment, reduces emissions and prevents biodiversity loss.
But the goals of the project GIFT for Europe are even bigger, by providing outstanding examples how real businesses in tourism changed their everyday routine to become environmentally responsible enterprises we hope to inspire the students for future actions. These examples, showing hotels with buildings producing all the electricity they use or travel businesses generating income by protecting biodiversity, will demonstrate that it is possible to rethink the way we make and use products and services, making the education practical and not theoretical. And finally by solving real case studies the students will build their ability to make environmentally sustainable management decisions.