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Skilling for Sustainable Tourism
Province of Manabí and Cantón Quito
Belgium; Dubai Cares
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
Professional development of teachers (INSET); school-to-work transition; workplace learning; sustainable tourism; equity

Ecuadorian youth between 15 and 29 years old account for around one quarter of the population. It is an age group marked by high levels of underemployment and unemployment as well as difficult working conditions. At the same time, Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry has been growing rapidly and is expected to further increase in importance in terms of its contribution to both GDP and employment.

Job opportunities for youth are on the rise in the sector. From 2014 to 2015, youth employment generated in tourism information and sales grew by 63%. 'Skilling for Sustainable Tourism' aims to ensure that Ecuador’s youth is skilled enough to seize these employment opportunities and to contribute to the further development of this economic sector. 


TVET teachers provide students in tourism-related courses with the skills they need to gain decent employment in Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry and to contribute to the sustainability of that industry.


The Skilling for Sustainable Tourism project centres on improving the quality and relevance of the two tourism-related courses offered at the level of upper secondary technical education: the ‘Bachillerato Técnico Ventas e Información Turística’ and the ‘Bachillerato Técnico Servicios Hoteleros’ (freely translated as the course in tourism and the course in hotel services respectively).

The project enhances the quality and relevance of the tourism-related courses by contributing to a strong and lasting alignment between the courses offered and the skills-needs of the travel and tourism industry. To do so, the project establishes meaningful collaboration between the education sector on the one hand and the travel and tourism industry on the other.

The collaboration is built on three pillars:

  • Improved teacher professional development: teachers are trained (on-site) by the industry partners
  • Provision of quality teaching materials
  • Workplace learning opportunities at the companies for students

Skilling for Sustainable Tourism pilots this approach for sustainable tourism in Manabí and Quito. The project simultaneously creates enabling conditions for replication and scaling.

By the end of the Skilling for Sustainable Tourism project:

  • teachers:
    • have the competences and network to skill their students for sustainable tourism
    • effectively apply lesson plans and organise project-based workplace learning for students
  • national, zonal and district MINEDUC staff have high level of capacity to implement and scale the model piloted by the project
  • industry partners are highly satisfied about the collaboration and are prepared for continued partnership

To reach its goals, VVOB Ecuador develops the capacity of its education partners. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB team in Ecuador, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.