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On 16th June twenty-five tourism lecturers both from HE and FE enjoyed a seminar arranged by ABTA and Andreas Walmsley at ICRT. The purpose of the event was to inform representatives from UK higher education institutions of ABTA’s activities, thereby facilitating closer links with industry. With continued emphasis in HE on employment and the industry relevance of HE programmes ABTA’s efforts in engaging with HE are very welcome.
The seminar covered much ground including the latest data on consumer trends in tourism as well as an overview of resources ABTA makes available for HE staff. A range of speakers from ABTA presented on the day, including a speech by Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s Chief Executive, and John de Vial, ABTA’s Head of Financial Protection. Emphasis was also placed on sustainability with a presentation by Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability explaining what ABTA is doing to make the industry more responsible. The ABTA consumer survey also covered ground in this area, identifying consumer attitudes towards aviation, taxation and sustainability, for example, as well as the role of the industry in sustainable destination development. A few highlights of the survey in terms of consumers’ views of sustainability include:
The event was not solely about one-way communication healthy discussions also took place along a range of themes. Collaboration between HE and ABTA was identified in the following areas:
Delegates were keen for future events such as these to take place and suggested that ABTA members might also be invited to present. ABTA should be praised for taking the initiative for this event. HE-Industry collaboration has long been on the cards and yet it is only through events like these that this becomes more than just a good idea.