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Larnaca tourism board aiming to boost specialised training

etap larnaca

The Larnaca regional tourism board (Etap) announced on Tuesday that its participation in several European programmes will ultimately help to boost specialisation and professional qualifications in Cyprus’ tourism and hospitality sector.

“This year, five Erasmus+ programmes will be implemented which are expected to contribute to the wider efforts to strengthen the quality and resilience of tourism and offer tangible positive results for the sector in the cooperating countries,” the announcement explained.

The board first mentioned the ESTour programme, titled “Introducing Epidemic Safe Tourism, post-COVID Recovery, to Strengthen SMEs in the Hospitality Sector”.

The programme seeks to empower small and medium-sized hotel businesses in the post-pandemic era.

As part of the project, a comprehensive educational framework will be developed to enhance knowledge and skills, as well as certify employees in the hospitality sector regarding new health and safety protocols.

It will also cover the latest digital technologies related to the effective management of the impacts of epidemic crises, as stated in the announcement.

Furthermore, the board noted that project MAAS (Match, Attain and Sustain: New Methods for Europe’s Job Brokers Supporting Tourism Businesses, Ukrainian Refugees and Job Seekers) addresses one of the issues of staff shortages, one of the main problems faced by hotel and tourism businesses in Cyprus and other European countries.

Etap Larnaca reported that through this collaboration, digitally improved techniques, approaches, and tools will be developed to meet the needs of the labour market of the tourism sector through the training of intermediaries.

Etap said that “among the deliverables is the creation of a multilingual electronic guide and an interactive task management platform”.

“A parallel pursuit of the project is the inclusion of Ukrainian refugees and other people looking for direct work in the tourism industry,” it added.

Additionally, the QUEST project, titled “Promoting Quality Internships in Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management”, aims to improve education and increase the employment of higher education students in the field of tourism.

As part of the project, an innovative and flexible training programme and an e-learning platform for higher education students and trainers will be created, along with the facilitation of practical work experience.

Moreover, the project will prepare a political methodology and cooperation agreement for the subject in question, which will be signed between higher education institutions, tourism organisations and tour agents in the Mediterranean region.

The announcement also mentioned project Go4Vet, which has similar related objectives, allowing partners to work together in order to enhance the capabilities of Vocational Education and Training providers through new learning agreements in various professional sectors, including the tourism industry.

Another significant initiative is the adoption of best practices in the inclusion of students with disabilities in international professional mobility schemes.

The educational efforts of Etap Larnaca’s European programmes “also extend to the training of women in rural communities, empowering their actions, including coverage of the tourism sector by offering authentic experiences to visitors”.

The announcement further stated that in the “Rural Women’s Club” programme, where Etap Larnaca participates with the Women’s Association of Rural Larnaca, deliverables include the development of good practices and educational activities, aiming to increase their knowledge and skills for the benefit of Cypriot heritage and culture, local communities, and tourism.

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