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Environmental Skills Gaps in Tourism and Hospitality Organisations: Evidence from Europe

The paper titled “Environmental Skills Gaps in Tourism and Hospitality Organizations: Evidence from Europe” examines the skills gaps related to environmental sustainability in the tourism and hospitality industry in Europe. The authors, Sheena Carlisle, Stanislav Ivanov, Corn√© Dijkmans, and Bartolome Marco-Lajara, aim to identify the specific skills and knowledge that employees in the industry lack in order to effectively contribute to environmental sustainability initiatives. The paper begins by highlighting the increasing importance of environmental sustainability in the tourism and hospitality sector due to growing concerns about climate change and the impact of tourism activities on the environment. It emphasizes the need for organizations in the industry to develop and implement sustainable practices and initiatives to minimize their environmental footprint. The authors conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify the key skills and knowledge areas relevant to environmental sustainability in tourism and hospitality. They also conducted surveys and interviews with industry professionals across different European countries to gather empirical evidence on the existing skills gaps in the sector. The findings of the study reveal several areas where skills gaps exist in relation to environmental sustainability. These include knowledge gaps regarding environmental regulations and legislation, understanding of sustainable practices and technologies, awareness of environmental impact assessment methods, and the ability to effectively communicate and engage with stakeholders on sustainability issues. The study also identifies specific job roles within the industry, such as hotel managers, tour operators, and event planners, where skills gaps are particularly pronounced. Based on the findings, the paper provides recommendations for organizations in the tourism and hospitality sector, educational institutions, and policymakers to address the identified skills gaps. These recommendations include the development of targeted training programs, collaboration between industry and academia to integrate sustainability education into curricula, and the establishment of industry-wide standards and certifications related to environmental sustainability. Overall, the paper contributes to the understanding of environmental skills gaps in the tourism and hospitality industry in Europe and provides insights for organizations and stakeholders to enhance their sustainability efforts through appropriate skill development and training initiatives.