A Tourism Academy in UNESCO Sites

The first edition of the Winter Academy will take place in Trento from November 24th to 30th, and will cover tourism-related themes in the so-called “TUNNA” areas (Tourism Management for UNESCO Designated Sites in Natural Areas). This initiative is the result of collaboration between the SMTC (School of Management of Tourism and Culture) and STEP (School for Technicians and Professionals) of the TSM-Trentino School of Management, the Trento branch of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Autonomous Province of Trento.

Who is it aimed at?

The Winter Academy is a training opportunity for policy makers, professionals and entrepreneurs active in tourism management in natural areas involved in UNESCO programmes (not only World Heritage Sites, but also Man and the Biosphere (MAB) initiatives and Global Geoparks). However, the organisers also thought it would be useful to open the course to people working in natural areas that are not designated UNESCO sites.

The course will start with a general look at such important topics as digital advances, climate change and demographic trends, and will then try to define the difficult, but not impossible relationship between tourism and environmental sustainability, focusing on practical approaches. Participants will take part in workshops and debates throughout the course, which will also include local organisations and institutions.

The Dolomites “Innovation Workshop”

One of the aims of the Winter Academy is to present the UNESCO Dolomites as a “living workshop” of innovative policies to support sustainable development. The inclusive process that led to the Overall Site Management Strategy and its application in setting up local networks, has long been recognised as an attractive model by UNESCO site managers in all parts of the world. It is hoped that by the end of the course participants will have a wider understanding of the subject of tourism management in natural areas, and will be able to implement new strategies geared towards sustainable goals.

How to take part

Applications can be submitted from September onward (http://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/tunna.htm). There are 35 places available, and selection will be based on the applicant’s personal and professional information, the reasons provided, and the presentation of a “case study” and current CV. The selected candidates can then complete the application process by filling out the form provided and paying the registration fee of €500, which covers participation in the Academy course, full board, accommodation, and transport during the week.