The tourism industry in Thailand and Vietnam are among the fastest growing in the world and is the employer of a high number of locals. In order to preserve the benefits gained from tourism also in the future it is important to protect the natural resources, the environment and the people. The concept of sustainable tourism (ST) when applied accurately, can support the tourism industry to grow further in a sustainable way. The concept itself is rather new to HEIs in Thailand and Vietnam and therefore it is essential to increase awareness and understanding of ST which will be done with expert trainings and the introduction of so competence centres for ST and innovative financial management strategies (IFS). There will be implemented 7 competence centres in the non-european universities for enhanced training and networking among unis and enterprises and the level of education.
Through the expert trainings, academic staff, students and companies are going to receive upgraded knowledge on ST and IFS to reach the following aims:
• to spread the knowledge of ST during the planned counselling sessions within the competence centres
• to increase the number of projects on ST and
• to make sure that these projects will be funded by IFS to generate a long-term growth of ST in Thailand and Vietnam
To expand generated knowledge in the project a network for ST and IFS will be established. It is promoted through cross-border conferences and it´s an important aim to sustain the network beyond the project end to add value in the tourism industry primarily in South-East Asia.
Further, through the intensive cooperation with companies, associations and governmental bodies throughout the TOURIST project, especially the university-business cooperation will be improved.
This leads to three advantages:
• increased employability of students and employees in the tourism sector
• increased teaching standards
• more initiatives on ST and IFS through improved networking