Italy's major tourism training and orientation fair kicks off in Rome

2019-03-14 02:31:33 GMT2019-03-14 10:31:33(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Looking for in-depth training, professional advices, and possibly an employment opportunity, some 1,400 students on Wednesday took part in the opening of "FareTurismo" fair running on March 13-15 at the European University here.

The event is the major appointment in Italy for both employers and jobseekers in the sector, offering orientation, conferences with public and private operators and officials, debates on tourism policies and last trends, and job interviews for selected candidates.

Of the 1,400 people enrolled for the selection, about 1,000 were admitted to individual interviews with representatives of 25 companies, organizers said.

"Tourism confirms to be a dynamic industry (in Italy), and relevant from the point of view of employment as well," Vittorio Messina, president of business association Assoturismo-Confesercenti, stressed in his remarks at the opening conference.

"At the same time, we still suffer from a certain lack of staff training, and a clear gap exists between what is being taught in schools and the skills actually required by the market," said Messina.

The official warned such gap would risk making Italy unable to grasp the opportunities that tourism would likely offer in the years to come, also in terms of contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP).

"The competence of our employees is a key element to compete successfully at global level," Messina stressed.

Indeed, the industry contributed some 13 percent to the Italian GDP in 2017, as stated in the Italian Tourism Report issued in February by the Research Institute for Innovation and Development Services (IRiSS), a branch of the National Research Center (CNR).

Furthermore, it employed some 14.7 percent of the country's workforce, and was expected to register about 250,000 new hiring by 2023, according to a survey by the Florence-based Center for Tourism Studies (CST) unveiled at the fair.

Such survey also suggested that marketing, communication, and social media were the areas where managerial roles were more requested in the Italian market nowadays.

Such kind of clues would help the educational offers adjust accordingly, teachers explained.

"It happen more easily with the master, which in Italy is more flexible than the bachelor degree, and allow us to change some subjects of study every year," Alessandra Romano, director of the European University Master in Tourism Management, told Xinhua.

As such, in order to be in line with the market, the university would regularly discuss with its partners (entrepreneurs in the sector) the most needed figures and skills, and choose the topics consequently.

For example, according to the European University's teachers, an outdated role today was that related to reservation making, which was something going mostly online, or through touristic packages nowadays, while highly requested figures were revenue manager, food and beverage manager, and destination manager.

During the three-day fair, attention would also be paid to the so-called market niches. "Among our speakers tomorrow (Thursday), for instance, there will be a private operator that only manages inflows of tourists from North America who want to come here to follow opera singer Andrea Bocelli," Romano said.

Such approach, she suggested, could be replied with other niches as well.

"For example, I think China's market has evolved as well, now including a minority of very high-level Chinese travelers with sophisticated needs," the professor said.

"An exchange of expertise with Chinese entrepreneurs on this issue would help us respond better to this demand in Italy."

According to the CNR-IRiSS report, foreign tourists in Italy outstripped domestic tourists for the first time in 2017: some 210.6 million arrivals from overseas were registered in the year against 209.9 million domestic visitors, according to the CNR-IRiSS report.

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