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Integrating Sustainability into Tourism Education and Training in Ireland: Current Reality and Future Actions Jane Stacey, Dr Sheila Flanagan & Dr Kevin Griffin School of Hospitality Management & Tourism Tourism Research Centre Dublin Institute of Technology Research Initiated and Funded by Fáilte Ireland Overview Objectives Context & Rationale Sustainability Research Approach Current Irish Reality Recommendations & Guidelines Project Partners Dublin Institute of Technology School of Hospitality Management & Tourism Tourism Research Centre Fáilte Ireland – National Tourism Development Authority ‘To guide and support the development of a sustainable tourism sector in Ireland’ Human Resource Development Strategy 2005- 2010 ‘Competing Through People’ Environment Unit • ‘Review of Sustainability Issues in Tourism Education & Training’ Objectives Identify and assess Irish validated tourism and hospitality related programmes in order to identify the shortfalls and strengths in relation to sustainability issues within these programmes Identify international best practice in relation to sustainability content and issues in tourism education and training programmes Identify and develop suitable content in the area of sustainability, for inclusion in education and training programmes Context & Rationale Challenge: sustainable future growth & development of Irish tourism Sustainability needs to be an integral part of the education process Review coincides with National Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development (Ireland) UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014 What is sustainability? Sustainable Tourism - Ireland ‘Sustainable tourism provides a high quality product based on, and in harmony with, a high quality natural heritage. It minimises adverse impacts on local communities, our built heritage, landscapes, habitats and species while supporting social and economic prosperity’ (Dept of the Environment, Heritage & Local Govt, Ireland, 1997) Sustainable Tourism - UNWTO ‘Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions, while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled, while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems’ (UNWTO,1998) Research Approach Research Elements Research Approach Current Irish Reality – Key Findings Programmatic Content Analysis Limited explicit identification of sustainability issues Little or no systematic treatment of sustainability Dealt with in higher level, elective modules Can gain qualification with little/no exposure to sustainability issues/concepts Relevant issues not explicitly addressed from sustainability perspective e.g. waste management Sustainability most prominent in ‘tourism’ Sustainability - minor element in Hospitality & Culinary Arts e.g.– from statutory perspective Overall: discretionary incorporation Stakeholder Consultations Discretion of individual lecturer to incorporate Prevalence of environmental issues ‘Business case’ perspective Specific modules on ‘sustainability’ in 4 institutions, planned in 2 institutions – at higher levels Most likely to be addressed in tourism programmes, followed by hospitality Very limited in Culinary, Bar & other skills programmes Overall: greater appreciation of ‘sustainability’ within the tourism framework Programmatic Content Development: Specific Gaps Consumer Behaviour Responsible Consumption Ethics Holistic overview of programmes - not stand-alone Staff development/awareness Sustainability as a mindset, not just a set of tools Practical/direct application, not just theoretical Future proofed real skills, not just paying lip service Mass tourism & sustainability – not just ‘nice niches’ Delivery to consider cutting edge & current literature Link with best industry codes of practice Recommendations & Guidelines Guidelines & Issues Integrated, holistic approach Flexible Dedicated module or integrated across modules? Strategically located Theoretical consideration, practical application Sustainability: a misunderstood concept Sustainability has to be an ongoing debate ‘Sustainability’, not ‘Sustainable Tourism’ Explicit incorporation of sustainability Triple Bottom Line– percolating all subject areas Train the trainers Overarching Principles All students, regardless of level & discipline, should receive grounding in general sustainability issues, in addition to subject specific consideration of sustainability issues relevant to their specialism Progressive approach to teaching & learning, incorporating both theoretical & practical elements at all levels as appropriate Dedicated modules addressing sustainability issues, where available, should form part of the core programmatic requirements Overarching Principles Linkages across modules and throughout the programme should inform the teaching of sustainability and ensure its holistic nature is effectively communicated to students Institutions own practices e.g. kitchen practices, inform teaching and learning. Schemes such as the Green Fáilte Programme provide practical frameworks Level Appropriate Content Theoretically Challenging Practically Embedded Local to Global Balance: Practical & Theoretical Local & International Practical, but introduce theoretical concepts Practical & Local Jane Stacey e firstname.lastname@example.org t +353 1 814 6093 w www.dit.ie Tourism Research Centre Dublin Institute of Technology Cathal Brugha St Dublin 1 Ireland
"Sustainability Issues in Tourism Training _ Education"