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The Imperative to Address Sustainability Skills Gaps in Tourism in Wales

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of research undertaken in Wales evidencing sustainability skills gaps. Survey data collected from five tourism sectors, accommodation, food and beverage, destination management, visitor attractions, travel agents and tour operators, show that the highest green and social skills gaps were identified in food and beverage businesses, whilst accommodation reported the lowest skills gaps. The effect of the type of tourism sector, business size and job level on green skills gaps perceptions was found to be insignificant, which indicates that training in sustainability skills is considered important regardless of these variables. The tourism sector in Wales is characterized by general skills shortages, and the high turnover of staff has an impact on businesses in terms of loss of skills, inefficiency and time dedicated to recruitment and training. For green skills gaps, knowledge is needed for the promotion of sustainable forms of transport which is considered the greatest green skills gap (24%). This is followed by the conservation of biodiversity (20%). The skills gap relating to the level of climate change awareness and knowledge reported a smaller percentage (12%).