Thomas Cook and Futouris launch project for quality and sustainability in the Tunisian hotel industry
– Project “Continuing Training” aims to develop specialised trainings for hotel staff with focus on service and sustainability
– Development partnership “Initial Training” with GIZ aims to improve training of hotel staff through a practical training approach
Oberursel/Berlin, 26 September 2017. In cooperation with Futouris e.V., Thomas Cook launches a large-scale project for quality and sustainability to strengthen the tourism development and to support employment in Tunisia. The programme encompasses two projects, divided in continuing training and initial training. The funding project “Continuing Training” runs from September 2017 to the end of 2018 and focusses on requalifying and training hotel staff to improve service quality and to promote sustainable aspects in the training. At the same time, Thomas Cook and Futouris e.V. in cooperation with Deutscher Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH launch a development partnership. The aim is to improve the initial training for future hotel staff in Tunisian hotel management schools and hotels by using a practical approach. The project aims to increasingly include practical and operational knowledge in the training through direct guest contact with special focus on sustainability aspects in the hotel business. The pilot project is set out for a period of three years and is funded by the develoPPP.de-Programm of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation Development. Launching two supplementing projects allows for a holistic support of the initial and continuing training of apprentices and employees in Tunisian hotels.
“For our customers, Tunisia has been a popular holiday destination for many years. As a tourism business, we also feel a strong connection to this country and our long-standing local partners. I personally feel very strongly about supporting the people who live and work there”, says Stefanie Berk, Chairman of the Board, Thomas Cook Germany, Managing Director Central Europe & East. “We want to pave the way for a qualified initial and continuing training for hotel employees and to improve their future prospects in their country.”
“Fundamentally improving the conditions for a sustainable development through a partnership between the tourism industry and the development cooperation directly helps to improve the quality of tourism offers of a region and to maintain long-term employment opportunities. I am very excited about the joint project that will promote the MENA region”, says Hasso von Düring, chairman of Futouris e.V.
The project “Continuing Training” is comprised of four phases and an initial number of six participating hotels in the touristic zones of Hammamet and Djerba, including the Thomas Cook owned Sentido Hotels & Resorts.
To identify the qualification needs, the first steps are to organise a dialogue workshop with hotel executives and employees of the participating hotels and additional workshops with stakeholders of, for instance, the Tunisian hotel association FTH and experts of Thomas Cook. Based on the results of the workshops, the second step is to develop a training programme which is tailor-made for the local needs of the region to promote better communication with customers and introduce standardised workflows. Major aspects will focus on raising awareness among employees for sustainable action and the integration of sustainability aspects into their daily business. Additionally, a programme for continuing training of hotel executive with leadership and motivational trainings (“Train-the-Trainer” qualification) is planned so that quality and employee satisfaction are improved in the long-term. The third project phase is planned to start as of spring 2018 when hotel employees will be trained within the training programmes in the hotel companies. In the fourth phase, the project team aims to include further first project findings and improvements in the training material. The programme shall then be introduced in 15 additional hotels. After successfully completing this project, Thomas Cook and Futouris e.V. will publish all workshop results and training material and make them available for the tourism industry.
Within the development partnership “Initial Training”, a practice oriented training concept will be designed in spring 2018 after having completed the currently running basis analysis. This training concept will be tested in a pilot phase in one hotel management school in Hammamet and in the participating hotels. Necessary improvements will be made in the following training cycle. The project aim is to introduce the training concept with its strong practical approach to further hotel management schools in Sousse and on the island of Djerba to result in a comprehensive improvement in the region.
The development partnership “Practice oriented education for hotel employees in Tunisia” focuses profoundly strengthening the role of practical experience in the overall Tunisian hotel education and to establish cooperations with hotel businesses as education partners in the long-term.