Running from Nov. 24 to 28, the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership is holding an annual conference for students and teachers. This conference is being held at Le Meridien Nice in France. Twenty-two high school students from 11 countries around the world are sharing their findings on how to apply technology to enhance travellers’ experiences in their own countries.
The students who are participating in the conference are the winners of the 2014 Student Research Competition sponsored by GTTP. The main goal of this educational program is to help introduce a rising group of young people to the opportunities that are available in the travel and tourism industry. This is done by getting their minds to think about how their country can benefit from tourism at a young age.
The students that entered the 2014 Student Research Competition were assigned different topics. These topics are never the same and vary year to year. The winners at all national levels get to present their case studies at this annual conference.
Michel Taride, the group president of Hertz International and the chair of the GTTP Advisory Board, said that these competitions are structured in a way to encourage the development of young people’s minds. This trains them to actively focus on issues and different trends that are affecting the travel and tourism industry as a whole. They then have a chance to come up with their own solutions to growing problems.
The executive director of the GTTP, Nancy Needham, said that the countries where these young people live want to continue being worth-while places to visit, so these kids are looking into the sustainability of the markets in their home countries. They are also learning that tourism goes beyond just attracting visitors to their countries; it’s also about providing jobs for people. They are learning that running the tourism industry takes a lot of work.
The GTTP first came about in 1996. This group works in Canada, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Ireland, Hungary, Russia, Kenya, Jamaica, Tanzania, South Africa and the UK. School systems in these areas provide teachers with classrooms. Over the years, nearly 2,500 international and local companies have come forward to share their expertise in the marketplace with these students and teachers. These companies have also been providing financial aid to the program and to the teachers and students.