Workgroups / Modules

Each Workgroup  A Module – Each Module A Workgroup

There are 12 workgroups available according to the 12 modules to be developed. Each workgroup is organized by a workgroup leaders, the members of a workgroup are ideally from universities, enterprises and NGOs from all partner countries to cover the different experience and backgrounds within the different institutions. During the different phases of work the members provide documents about literature, supporting acticles and module descriptions to be discussed and evaluated among the members. The results of  ongoing process will be documented and published on this website as well.

Teachers' Book - a Guideline

Additional to that a " Teachers' Book" was developed aiming at general preconditions and abilities to use the modules and teach the contents. The idea is that sustainability is not only meant for new topics but also for new teaching methods as they are state- of- the- art at many of European universities.

The Teachers's Book is supposed to be a guideline and to provide an overview about

  • the structure of the modules,
  • proposals for lecturing hours and assessment,
  • standards of scientific work,
  • the structure of master courses,
  • basics of didactics and methodology as well as
  • practical examples of evaluation and case studies.
  • practical examples of evaluation and case studies.

This book will be available in English and translated into the three languages of our Caucasian partners.

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1. Destination Management

In our project a destination should be understood as a geographical area or a region in which all the relevant elements of the stay, such as landscape, fauna, flora, climatic conditions, cultural and historical attractions, accommodation, recreational facilities and other infrastructure are available. The destination will be selected based on the combination of the factors of supply by the guest as the objective of his trip; by tour operators and incoming agencies as a package with complementary factors by these companies. For the organization and marketing of the destination as a whole a Destination Management Organization (DMO) is generally responsible.
 
 As important characteristics of a destination should be recognized:
 
The destination is described by the respective original (= supply factors and characteristics of a destination that exist without tourism activities) and secondary offer (= supply factors that have created due to tourism activities primarily for tourists). The various service providers or places and cities/towns (communities) that belong together within a geographic area, the (potential) guests usually perceived as belonging together and thus occur as a destination in the market competition. Consequently, these components are responsible for the image of the destination and support each other in their impact on the image. Thus, the destination is a competition unit, which should be managed like an enterprise.
 
As an essential feature of the competition unit „destination“ the number of independent service providers in the destination is highlighted, which have to be integrated into a collaborative process in the competition unit „destination“ and are responsible for the general destination image. (vgl. Scherhag, Knut: Stichwort: Destination, in: Gabler Verlag: Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon online 2013).
 
 As there are different understandings of the term “destination”, first of all a joint definition of the term “Destination Management” will be elaborated.
 
 Assuming from the commonly used content-importance of a destination in terms of travel/mobility is only the objective of a trip. Thus, the aim of the trip, of course, depends largely on the travel motives of the tourist. Thus, since wild camping on a lake for a fishing weekend (without permission), staying at a conference hotel for a two-day conference, the holiday in a tourist resort, a spa town and in the form of an institutionally or individually planned and executed tour – regardless of the means of travel (e.g. by bus or bicycle, motorcycle, car, camper …) can be subsumed under the concept of destination for a vote on the terms destination and destination management is necessary before any further steps.
 
 In summary, a tourist destination – in contrast to the general concept of a travel destination/voyage – on the one hand by a geographic area belonging together and the other by a variety of independent – dominated companies which conduct their business in this geographic area – tourist and non-tourist. Major parts of this business realize each company by the direct and indirect tourism demand in their destination.
 
 Destination management therefore deals with the organization, management and marketing of tourism destinations. To fulfill the tasks associated with a central destination operating throughout Organization Unit is necessary that enjoys the confidence of the service providers. This destination management organization (DMO) coordinates the destination product – which is composed of the individual products of the service providers in the destination, is looming and supports cooperation among the service providers in the destination (in most cases she has no authority to give directives because these are independent companies).

Furthermore, the DMO has to develop under compliance and integration the service providers a tourism concept for the destination, in which the role of the DMO and the service provider is generally settled. Other responsibilities include: Develop and implement a competitive strategy and the marketing of the destination as a whole. Often the computer reservation system is operated by the DMO. Increasingly, packages are created and marketed, which makes the DMO de jure to a tour organizer.
Destination Management has to be in compliance with the triangle of sustainability, i.e., it is an adequate relationship between ecological, economic and social factors prevails.

Destination Management has to be in compliance with the triangle of sustainability, i.e., it is an adequate relationship between ecological, economic and social factors prevails.
 
Depending on the cultural and/or economic region (e.g. development country vs. Western Europe) the destination is, it may be a shift of the importance between the topics.

Against this background, the development of a common curriculum for sustainable destination management is only possible considering the typical specific features in every participating country.

2. Sustainable Tourism

The course is designed to provide an in-depth knowledge about sustainability, sustainable tourism and regional development, its definition, standards, preconditions, indicators, problems and chances referring to international experience. Using concrete examples we will investigate how to combine environmental, social and economic aspects and implement hem within a sustainable tourism management. We will look at regional tourism developments (not only) in rural areas in regard to consumption, production and marketing. Local stakeholders and their roles and competence are also important for our investigation. Traditional, natural and cultural unique selling points and their sustainable usage, e.g. in and around National Parks shall be introduced and evaluated for the Caucasus Region.
 
After participation the students should:

  • know about the international discussion and definitions in terms of sustainability, sustainable tourism and regional development
  • have learned about the idea and targets of sustainable tourism, and regional development according to international guidelines and different conceptual approaches
  • know about the critics and problems of a sustainable regional development
  • know about the necessary competences which have to be available
  • realise the regional effects and economic impact assessment of an independent regional development by example worldwide
  • transfer and evaluate those international experiences to the potential of the Caucasus Region as a beneficial option for different regions
  • have been acquainted to other institutions working in the field of sustainable tourism and regional development
  • have learnt how to apply the strategies within a concrete situation
  • have improved methods and strategies of internet research and presenting of reports, with appropriate structures and quotations.

Additional to this, master students

  • should be able to work on scientific research and measure the sustainability of tourism, not only on a theoretical but on a practical level too and use concrete tools like statistics, methods of graphs and clusters, methods of survey, extrapolation and modeling.

3. Ecotourism

Ecotourism in rural areas holds the potential to increase livelihoods and to contribute to more diversified regional economic structures. Nature-based tourism and ecotourism thus play an essential role in sustainable tourism development. The aim of this workgroup is to develop study modules in the field that are oriented at international state-of-the-art theory and case studies, but also take into consideration regional best-practice examples from the South Caucasus. After completing the module, the students should be able to successfully:

  • Define nature-based tourism and ecotourism, and distinguish them from other forms of tourism;
  • Understand the theoretical foundations and history of ecotourism, notably the concept of sustainable development;
  • Describe and provide examples of positive and negative environmental, economic and economic impacts of nature-based tourism;
  • Describe and discuss current issues and trends in ecotourism and nature-based tourism (e.g. community-based tourism, mainstreaming, environmental governance, accreditation; the role of ethics);
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to evaluate ecotourism case studies in a variety of contexts;
  • Apply theories and concepts to management practices (e.g. interpretation, marketing, regional economics);
  • Think critically about tourism in general and nature-based tourism/ecotourism in particular and share opinions with others.

4. Agritourism

Agro-/Agritourism is basically where agriculture and tourism interact. The interaction gets a lot of faces e.g. offer accommodation for tourist (e.g. bed-and-breakfast), wine tastings, selling farm-products or regional handmade stuff (e.g. carpets…) to the bypassing tourist, horseback riding and so on. The difficulty is that the todays work usually has nothing to do with tourism. So the actors in ago-/agritourism have to learn about the needs of different stakeholders in the tourism business. Above all, here are the needs and requirements of tour operators and individual travelers. In the most cases the focus on tourism will be an additional income to the farmers and could not replace the income from farm-work. In the module should be shown to the learners who to develop products in agro-/agritourism by looking at the individual needs of the different stakeholders. The focus will be product development for individual travelers by the regional actors in agro-/agritourism, to start cooperation and get partners in the regional context and learn about marketing and distribution. Also an important issue is the integration into regional development and look for the needs of rural societies.

5. Practical Placements

Within the new modules for sustainable tourism management  practical placements will play an essential role. The aim of the practical placements will be to link theory and practice. Students will be able to make use of their theoretical knowledge gained during their studies and to make first contacts to the business community, i.e. to their potential future employers.

6. Tour Guide Education

The aim of the course is to build personal growth, development and career making, based on modern and professional tourism education in guiding following the principles of sustainable tourism.

 

This means : 

  • To provide students with knowledge of tour guiding (methodology);
  • To develop tour guiding skills (organizational and communication skills) also first aid;
  • To provide students with certain information about the tourism industry, interpersonal skills, intercultural communication, for customer oriented relations; tourism projects; facts, figures and quotations about tourism;
  • To provide students with knowledge of different types of tours;
  • To provide knowledge of regulation and legislation on tourism guide.

7. Capacity Building

The course “Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism/Human Resources Management” is designed to give the students complete, thorough theoretical and practical knowledge and skills about the processes of organizing effective management of human resources and the applicable mechanisms, based on the experience of the operating organisations in the field of
tourism and hospitality.

Therefore, the cornerstone of this course is to observe, study and monitor the possible improvement and development opportunities, effectiveness and prospects of the process of managing human resources in tourism industry.

Hence, one of the most essential issues is taken as a stem for this course: to analyze and revealthe ways according to which the organizations of the tourism and hospitality sector are going to and should attract, maintain and develop an effective workforce and highly productive, creative personnel, to ensure, provide a healthy working environment which will be their guaranty of success and sustainable market place.

As a result of the course, a student should:


          Know

  • The essence and objectives of human resources management in tourism industry, as well
    as the basic concepts and definitions, various approaches, trends and future developments
    of human resource management.
  • The strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative effects of human resources
    management in order to create an ideal working environment for achieving a maximum
    output in market.
  • The importance and potential, peculiarities and efficiency level of human resources
    management in the field of tourism for providing a high quality service and for having a

    maximum competitive advantage in industry.

    Be able to

  • Review and analyze the current international experience in the field of human resource
    management
  • Evaluate the existing and prospective opportunities, benefits and advantages of the field
  • Observe and study the problems of management and development, offer solutions based

    on their own observations and studies

    Master, command of

  • The principles and skills of organizing human resource management correctly and
    creating healthy working relations and environment
  • Knowledge and practical skills acquired during the course
  • Skills of making necessary comparisons and formulating recommendations concerning
    the subject, analytical thinking and professional approach to studying and observing
    problems

 

8. Intercultural Communication

The course “ICC & Management” is designed to teach appropriate behaviour when dealing with people from diverse cultural backgrounds within the tourism sector. Good communication skills and management are part of this.
 
The overall goal of the course is to introduce basic notions and approaches of intercultural communication. Maintenance and advancement of intercultural dialogues are an efficient factor that determines consensus and friendly relations between peoples.
 
After participation the student should:

  • Understand the importance of culture in different contexts within the tourism sector.
  • Illustrate his/her awareness of the deep-rooted assumptions, ideas and emotions pertaining to their own as well as the other culture(s).
  • Interpret examples of critical incidents of ICC.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deal with miscommunications that may arise in intercultural contexts.
  • Understand the relationship between ICC and globalization.
  • Use ICC communication skills with other people in the service field.
  • Understand peculiarities of intercultural communication according to a specific country or/and historical-cultural heritage.
  • Apply the obtained knowledge of cultural diversity at different levels of intercultural communication
  • Demonstrate new methods and ways of organizing and managing various types of tourism through intercultural communication.

9. Language

The course “Language for specific purposes: Tourism" is designed to improve and develop English language skills to communicate effectively in the professional context of the possibility and tourist industry as well as to develop confidence and fluency in English, learning and practicing structures and vocabulary, terminology, collocations and idiomatic language related to international travel industry. The course is designed in accordance withe the principles of ESP method which allows teaching tourism in English equipping students with knowledge of topic-based vocabulary, lexical and syntatic peculiarities with integration of four language skills: listening, writing, reading and speaking.

The overarching premise of the course is to introduce tourism professional demeanor, peculiarities of professional process in general, thematic types of tourism in particular as well as professional vocabulary.

After participation the students should:

  • Understand conversations, talks and reports related to the tourism industry;
  • Read complex instructions and demanding texts related to tourism communication;
  • Participate in lively conversation;
  • Use English fluently, accurately and effectively to discuss a wide-range of tourism related topics,
  • Know basic terminology in various domains of tourism;
  • Know peculiarities of tourism and tourism centers;
  • Use knowledge, skills and competences obtained throughout their studies in a professional environment;
  • Use the linguistic and communication skills in the sphere of hospitality;
  • Master how to apply skills and tools obtained throughout the course in creating tour packages;
  • Acquire fundamental techniques in building vocabulary, especially in creating lexical fields;
  • Achieve CEF B1/B2/C1 English language competency;
  • Deepen their understanding of and skills in business correspondence;
  • Find out facts and statistics on their country;
  • Find out specialized tourism in their region.

10. Innovative Small an Medium Sized Enterprises in Sustainable Tourism

SMEs are gaining a lot from globalization process. Removal of trade barriers is the most significant opportunity for them. The opening up of new frontiers provides firms with global market opportunities, hence allowing them to endure and grow up.

Although SMEs are still slightly present in global markets compared to larger companies, recent trends have proved their increasing involvement in the international trade. Notwithstanding of the persistent growth of the multinational companies, small businesses continue to succeed across the globe and become an essential element of all growing economic systems.

This course is about the essentials of managing a growing small business. By ‘growth” it is meant a business that reveals a tendency to permanently augment its operations volume, because it satisfies a number of important growth criteria.

This course will be focused on fundamental insights of how growing SMEs should be managed. Special attention will be paid to issues of acquiring management skills and understanding of specificities of small and medium size enterprises. In general, the course is to be based on understanding of classical and theoretical specifications and rules in field of Small and Medium Size Enterprises Management.

 

After completion of the course, student will be able to:

 

  •          Demonstrate advanced knowledge related to small and medium size tourism enterprises’ management and critical understanding of this knowledge
  •          Take decisions on choosing the appropriate marketing strategy for the tourism small enterprise, analyze various competition strategies,  work out the business plan developing new knowledge using theoretical fundamentals, specialized problem solving skills as well as integrating knowledge from various spheres
  •          Ensure management of small and medium sized tourism enterprises in the conditions of uncertainty, make a theoretical contribution to increase professional knowledge and practical contribution into the improvement of the process of management using new strategic approaches
  •          Build the organizational model of the enterprise as a specific object of social relationships, structure and put up management information flow in an efficient way, create well-organized systems and management structures within the SMEs.
  •          Apply theoretical knowledge in practice, specifically the theory of organizing SMEs.

 

In addition, students will learn how to:

  • Ensure continuing excellent services to customers
  • demonstrate  their ability to manage internal operations effectively and efficiently
  •          ensure that businesses has a track record of sustained profitability

11. Management of Cultural Heritage

The main aims of this module is to teach students how to organize tourism with a minimum influence to the cultural heritage of the region. Cultural management is an important part of the development of sustainable tourism. As the tourism is expected to have an increasing influence on both the ecosystem and the cultural heritage of the specific region, the protection of natural and cultural heritage is the main conditions for sustainable tourism.

12. eLearning

The main task of the workgroup “eLearning” is to provide a unified electronic platform as learning management system for all the modules elaborated within this project. The aim is to familiarize future teaching staff with the concept of blended learning and to enable them to apply contemporary (electronic) and traditional means of teaching.

The activities of this workgroup will focus on the following three sections:

     

  1. Guidelines for successful eLearning
  2. Guidelines for implementation and use of Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  3. Development of eLearning courses as examples

Teachers´ Book - a Guideline

The "Teachers' Book" was developed aiming at general preconditions and abilities to use the modules and teach the contents. The idea is that sustainability is not only meant for new topics but also for new teaching methods as they are state- of- the- art at many of European universities.

The Teachers's Book is supposed to be a guideline and to provide an overview about

  • the structure of the modules,
  • proposals for lecturing hours and assessment,
  • standards of scientific work,
  • the structure of master courses,
  • basics of didactics and methodology as well as
  • practical examples of evaluation and case studies.
  • practical examples of evaluation and case studies.

This book will be available in English and translated into the three languages of our Caucasian partners.