The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) project based at Cardiff Metropolitan University in collaboration with Tourism Society Cymru and PLANED is inviting students from colleges and universities as well as young professionals (including those furloughed and recently made redundant due to Covid) from tourism and hospitality businesses to enter a unique competition. Entrants are invited to propose their best ideas on what the future of tourism and hospitality in Wales should look like and what are the skills and knowledge required to deliver sustainable tourism development.
Research undertaken by the NTG project has evidenced demand for better collaboration between education, training providers and industry. Also, a need to address digital and sustainability skills gaps in the tourism and hospitality industry. This upskilling is more important than ever to help ensure a resilient recovery from the pandemic. Therefore, the aim of the competition is to bring students, young professionals and leading industry representatives together to envision a positive future, identify best practice in learning and celebrate career pathways in the industry.
All students enrolled on further and higher education courses that have subjects relating to tourism and travel, hospitality, events, heritage, and food and beverage as well as young professionals (aged 16 to 25 years) can pitch their knowledge and innovative ideas to expert judges. Every entry will receive constructive feedback from a judge beneficial to their future professional development. There will be winners for the four sponsored categories and an overall winner. Each category winner will win £250 as well as an opportunity to join a virtual national tourism and hospitality skills symposium that will provide the opportunity to network with top employers followed by an awards ceremony in Spring 2021.
The four award categories are (1) Tourism industry and infrastructure (2) Digital tools and technology (3) Environment and ecology (4) Local communities. The competition is cutting edge as entrants will provide a digital submission such as a video, PowerPoint
Presentation, website or app. Also, this is the only tourism and hospitality competition in the UK that encourages entries in Welsh as well as English.
The competition closes on March 10th 2021. An entry form and guidelines including the judging criteria can be found at:
Louise Dixey, NTG Project Development Coordinator emphasised that, “This competition shines a light on young people and their aspirations to deliver positive visions of the future of tourism and hospitality in Wales. It gives entrants an opportunity to showcase their inspiration and skills needed for future careers.”
John Walsh-Heron, Chair of Tourism Society Cymru highlighted that, “This competition supports our goals in Wales to bring tourism sectors together to network and develop best practice, support learning and encourage understanding of sustainable tourism. Young people today have a unique view of the world around them and can be innovative in their future careers demonstrating new ways we can open up our hospitality offer.”
Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of PLANED, underscored that, “Whilst the competition will culminate with a fantastic virtual expert industry-led mentoring symposium for participants as well as an awards ceremony in the Spring, the competition for PLANED, underpins the role of the sector in communities across Wales. The inter-dependence of businesses within the sector, and the wider socio-economic impact they have on communities across our rural and coastal communities particularly, cannot be underestimated. PLANED fully supports the promotion of innovation amongst the next generation of sector leaders and ambassadors to further integrate and support that cohesive approach across businesses large and small; communities, rural and urban.”
This is the 2nd Next Tourism Generation Competition in Wales. The overall winner in 2020 was Evan Davies, an aspirational Chef from Pembrokeshire College. Evan underlined that, “This competition was a great opportunity to aid in my personal growth and further my career in hospitality. It is vital to develop and nurture careers in hospitality as learning a new trade can broadens horizons.”
Another 2020 winner, Jenna O’Brien from Coleg Menai, highlighted that, “This competition has given me the opportunity to express my passion and enthusiasm for the preservation of the environment, culture and language of my area, as well as helping me realise what area of sustainable tourism I would like to pursue.”