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International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29

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International Journal of Hospitality Management


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Balancing tourism education and training


Fabio Zagonari *
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Facolta di Economia (sede di Rimini), Universita di Bologna, via Anghera 22, 47900 Rimini, Italy

A R T I C L E I N F O A B S T R A C T

Keywords: This paper assumes that tourism educated and trained students play different roles (in driving future
Tourism tourist demands and in meeting current tourist preferences, respectively), and it states that the main
Education features characterising the four stakeholders involved in the design, development and implementation of
Training
tourism programmes (rms, students, educational and governmental institutions), together with the
Evolutionary game
main facts they face in taking their decisions, lead to a non-optimal strategic long-run equilibrium, where
Dynamic model
tourism non-graduated or differently-from-tourism graduated employees prevail. The development of
an evolutionary model allows to identify the main features characterising rms and students, to be
focused on by educational and governmental institutions, in order to move towards the optimal
equilibrium, where tourism graduated employees prevail, while the development of a dynamic model
allows to show that this equilibrium is not detrimental to tourism trained employees. This work also
suggests a possible educational strategy that could allow to move away from the non-optimal
equilibrium, by achieving public objectives (such as environmental or ethical tourism), by relying on
feasible educational approaches (about what and how to teach), and by taking into account the private
characteristics (of rms and students). Therefore, balancing tourism education and training is both
possible and benecial to all stakeholders involved.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction products, are dynamic operators, while a hotel or a restaurant


keeper who satisfy consumer preferences are static operators.
Tourism is a labour-intensive service industry, dependent for Notice that there is no absolute distinction between vocational
survival (and for competitive advantage) on the availability of good and technical curricula followed by static operators at schools and
quality personnel to deliver, operate, and manage the tourist dynamic operators at universities, respectively. However (more
product (Amoah and Baum, 1997). Human resource issues in vocational) schools are more likely to teach well-identied
tourism are multi-dimensional: the poor image as an employer, the transferable skills that students are able to demonstrate on
quality and availability of skilled staff, rewards and benets, labour completion of their curriculum, while students in (more general)
turnover, working hours and conditions, use of expatriate labour, universities are more likely to learn how to learn in order to be
barriers to employment, and a traditionally low level of training exible enough to cope with the changing skill requirements and
and education (Peacock and Ladkin, 2002). the rapid technological advances. Next, there is no absolute
This paper discusses the possible balance between (vocational) specialisation of schools and universities in training and education,
training (mainly acquired at school) and (technical) education respectively. Indeed, schools might be required to offer some
(mainly acquired at university), by characterising the two different (general) education also (see Brunello and Checchi, 2007 for a
roles played in tourism by two types of operators, the static recent study on the impacts of school tracking on educational
(trained) operators (aiming at meeting current preferences) and attainment and labour market outcomes, where it turns out that
the dynamic (educated) operators (aiming at driving future reducing the extent of student tracking is appropriate for
demands) (Section 2): for example, a hotel keeper who tries to increasing intergenerational mobility), while universities might
foster a market demand from environmentally concerned tourists, be required to provide (vocational) training also (see Olave and
or a restaurant keeper who tries to favour the use of ethical Salvador, 2006 for a recent study on the effects of internships in
rms or training courses organised by universities on the length of
unemployment before the rst job is found, where the most
signicant improvements in labour market insertion are shown to
* Tel.: +39 0541 434135; fax: +39 0541 434120. be obtained by graduates in economics and nance). Anyway, it is
E-mail address: fabio.zagonari@unibo.it. here assumed that tourism operators are more likely to be static if

0278-4319/$ see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2008.03.006
F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29 3

trained (at school), and are more likely to be dynamic if educated 2. Two types of tourism operators
(at university).
In the tourist sector there are (many) small rms, that cannot A dynamic operator is here dened as somebody aiming at
afford any effective on-the-job training for employees, and (few) driving the future tourism demand; for example, a hotel keeper
large rms, that cannot solve the problem of retaining their skilled who tries to foster a market demand from environmentally
staff (Peacock and Ladkin, 2002). Thus, educational institutions concerned tourists, or a restaurant keeper who tries to favour the
must be involved in the process of educating and training students. use of ethical products. Next, a static operator is here dened as
Next, tourism often accounts for a large proportion of GDP (both in somebody aiming at satisfying the current tourism demand; for
developed and developing countries), it shows high (static) example, a hotel or a restaurant keeper who satisfy consumer
potentials, both in economic (increasing size) and social (employ- preferences.
ment basin) terms, but it also shows high (dynamic) threats, for Notice that governmental institutions could aim at making
example about environmental and ethical issues (Dale and tourist services characterised by greater environmental or ethical
Robinson, 2001). Thus, governmental institutions must also be contents being more appreciated by consumers.
involved in setting the training and education processes.
Section 3 focuses on the main features characterising each of 3. Stakeholders preferences
the four main stakeholders involved in the design, development
and implementation of education and training programmes The previous section identied the different roles played by
(enterprises, students, educational institutions and governmental (static) trained and (dynamic) educated operators. This section will
institutions), the main facts faced by them, together with decisions discuss the main features characterising each of the four main
that are usually taken (with a short and/or narrow perspective) and stakeholders involved in the design, development and implemen-
decisions that should be taken instead (with a longer and/or tation of education and training programmes (enterprises,
broader perspective), by showing that tourism non-graduated or students, educational institutions and governmental institutions),
differently-from-tourism graduated employees are likely to the main facts faced by them, together with decisions that are
prevail. usually taken (with a short and/or narrow perspective) and
The development of an evolutionary model (Section 4) allows to decisions that should be taken instead (with a longer and/or
highlight the main features characterising rms and students, that broader perspective). It will be stressed that tourism non-
lead to this strategic non-optimal long-run equilibrium (i.e. static graduated or differently-from-tourism graduated (static) employ-
students and employees), and that should be referred to by ees are likely to prevail in the tourism labour market.
educational and governmental institutions, in order to move Notice that it is assumed that all stakeholders have already
towards the strategic optimal long-run equilibrium (i.e. dynamic chosen the tourism sector so that rms must choose whether to
students and employees), where tourism graduated employees employ tourism graduated (dynamic) vs. tourism non-graduated
will prevail. or differently-from-tourism graduated (static) students (i.e. rms
This emphasis on tourism educated students, however, could be cannot change their activity sector), students must choose tourism
detrimental to tourism trained students. Section 5 develops a graduating vs. tourism non-graduating or non-tourism graduating
dynamic model to show that an effective education system (to courses (i.e. students cannot change their study eld), educational
prepare dynamic operators) might actually increase employment institutions must identify tourism curricula (i.e. they are not
opportunities for static operators (involved in training pro- interested in other courses), and governmental institutions must
grammes), to a greater extent in a technological lively sector specify tourism policies (i.e. they do not care about other
and to a lesser extent in a mature industry. interventions).
Tourism can be hardly dened as an industry (Lickorish, 1991),
since it is an area of economic activity linking sectors through the 3.1. Enterprises
common objective of its consumers (Amoah and Baum, 1997).
Next, tourism can be hardly described as a discipline in its own Employers do not recognise the importance of education: quite
right (Tribe, 1997), since it lacks a theoretical underpinning often the industry is dominated and controlled by entrepreneurs
(Cooper et al., 1993). Thus, several approaches exist about what who have a complete lack of appreciation of tourism education and
and how to teach. A standardised international tourism education, underlying theories, framework and concepts that should guide
with specialisation and theming with base of knowledge is tourism as a major social and economic global phenomenon (UK,
suggested in Section 6.1, as a possible educational strategy that Peacock and Ladkin, 2002). Moreover, there is no interest in
would allow to move towards the strategic optimal long-run education by people involved in recruitment, since that would help
equilibrium (represented in Section 4), by achieving public people progress faster and higher in a career path (UK, Amoah and
objectives (highlighted in Sections 3.3 and 3.4), by relying on Baum, 1997). Finally, employers perceive uncertain nature and
feasible educational approaches, and by taking into account the content of tourism degrees, and unclear differences from other
private characteristics of rms and students (stressed in Sections related service sector programmes, offered by educational institu-
3.1 and 3.2): opportunities and difculties of the required tions (UK and Brazil, Knowles et al., 2003).
coordination between stakeholders are emphasised in Sections These features make rms to be intrinsically inclined to choose
6.26.4. non-graduated employees. In particular, the industry seeks personal
Therefore, discussion and analysis developed in this paper skills (such as communication, adaptability, and leadership)
allows to conclude that balancing education and training is both (Canada, Martin and McEvoy, 2003) and foreign language ability
possible and benecial to all stakeholders involved. (UK, Leslie et al., 2004), as well as it accuses educational institutions
Notice that the quotations of the most recent contributions has of providing broad-based, generic knowledge linked with the
implied that case studies refer to different countries (as specied learning of other disciplines (e.g. business studies and economics)
before references), both developed and developing countries (see (UK, Dale and Robinson, 2001) and of moulding tourism graduates
volume 5, June 2006 of J. of Teaching in Travel & Tourism for additional with wrong qualications (Thailand, Esichaikul and Baum, 1998).
case studies): this seems to suggest that the analysis here developed Next, enterprises had no choice in the past, and it is now often
pertains to structural characteristics of the tourist sector. difcult to replace qualied non-graduate personnel with inexper-
4 F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29

ienced university graduates (Turkey, Collins, 2002). In particular, These features make students to be intrinsically inclined to
small business (e.g. family and three/four-stars hotels) cannot afford choose non-graduating courses.
any in-service training for employees additional to that offered by There appears minimal advanced career opportunity for people
training institutions or trade associations, i.e. small rms cannot bear with the right tourism skills and/or professional competencies,
the cost of moving to graduated employees. Moreover, large rms especially at supervisory and managerial level, and there is no a
(e.g. international chains and ve-stars hotels) do train employees career ladder that one must climb in order to reach fully meaningful
regularly, although they face the problem of retaining their skilled well-paid positions, with a paternalistic management style that
staff: trained employees move to a new hotel that does not provide hinders career prospects (Kenya, Mayaka and Akama, 2007).
training and offer higher compensation, i.e. large rms would not Next, the level of education in the tourist industry is painfully
obtain permanent benets by moving to graduated employees, due low, with a tough competition with non-skilled employees
to competition by other large rms (Denmark, Hjalager and (Denmark, Hjalager and Andersen, 2000) and with differently
Andersen, 2000). Finally, both small and large rms do not develop skilled employees (Turkey, Collins, 2002) in terms of wages and
formal in-house training systems due to the high drop-out rates, working conditions rather than in terms of qualications. This
since students consider the tourism industry as a rst step (in case of feature is even exacerbated by the fact that students enrolled in
career ambitions) or a temporary occupation (in case of young tourism graduating courses are adversely selected, since tourism
people): the tourist industry is a refuge when job opportunities in industry suffers from a poor image as an employer: low social
other sectors are scarce. In other words, both small and large rms status, long and irregular working hours, willingness to serve, low
are strategically driven by these facts to choose tourism non- salaries, few social welfare and benets, with other sectors of the
graduated or differently-from-tourism graduated employees. economy offering more attractive jobs (UK, Amoah and Baum,
Consequently, decisions actually taken by enterprises are often 1997). Consequently, the tourism industry is characterised by a
as follows. Employers ll their needs from those people with rapid turnover of staff, with a persistently contingent workforce,
practical experience more so than those with a university degree: employed under very exible conditions, on non-standard terms
2-year degree students with work experience are preferred over 4- and on a part-time and seasonal basis (Denmark, Hjalager and
year degree students. In particular, small-rm employers especially Andersen, 2000). This feature is even aggravated by the fact that
tend to prefer job experience to qualications in recruitment (UK, students expectations about job conditions are often biased
Amoah and Baum, 1997), with multi-role employees, while large- (Turkey, Collins, 2002), while those about career perspectives are
rm employers look for management skills (Brazil and UK, Knowles often unrealistic, wrongly conveyed by educational institutions
et al., 2003). Next, in case of low-quality services, differently (China, Lam and Xiao, 2000).
graduated students are required (Canada, Martin and McEvoy, In other words, students are strategically driven by these facts to
2003) or non-skilled employees are trained on the job (Thailand, prefer tourism non-graduating or differently-from-tourism grad-
Esichaikul and Baum, 1998). uating courses.
To summarise, rms look for tourism non-graduated or To summarise, students employed in the tourism industry turn
differently-from-tourism graduated students. This seems to be out to be consistent with requirements put forward by rms: due
conrmed by the low level of education observed in several to low motivations, tourism non-graduated students are attracted
countries (Denmark, Hjalager and Andersen, 2000; Australia and to vocational tourism studies because of the relatively high
UK, Lashley and Barron, 2006). probability of acquiring a position and a job security, by perceiving
Nevertheless, employers should be aware that there is a call for it as a glamorous industry providing opportunities for adventure
changing skill requirements due to rapidly technological advances, (USA, Cole et al., 2006); differently-from-tourism graduated
as well as for continuing education of employees; moreover, that students are people with university degrees who get jobs very
mature consumers will require specialisation; nally, that profes- soon after graduation, but new recruits have high intentions to quit
sional and well-educated workforce is essential in the provision of the job when they nd that the salary package of the industry is not
quality service and enhancing overall service delivery in a global as competitive as others, and the pressure and stress at work is
market. unexpectedly high, or leave the tourism industry to do a career
elsewhere (Denmark, Hjalager and Andersen, 2000).
3.2. Students Nevertheless, students should be aware that a vocational, skill-
based programme inevitably restrains future job opportunities;
Individuals aiming for a job in tourism often have no traditional conversely, conceptual programmes that confer extended knowl-
career ambitions, by emphasising job autonomy, pleasant life style, edge will increase career opportunities.
and job permanence (smaller in low-quality service rms): it
seems to t well with the emerging youth culture in which rapid 3.3. Educational institutions
shifts are seen as positive advantage, by looking down rigid careers
(Denmark, Hjalager and Andersen, 2000). There is no general agreement as to where the study of tourism
Next, individuals who like working with other people are likely really belong, at university or middle schools (Kenya, Mayaka and
to display extrovert personality characteristics and right-hand Akama, 2007), so that tourism studies are often tagged to unrelated
brain preference (Australia and UK, Lashley and Barron, 2006). departments and unconnected courses, and are housed in different
Thus, tourist students usually prefer learning styles that are elds, including geography, sociology, . . . so that there is lack of
concrete rather than abstract, and active rather than reective: in coherence in the teaching and training approaches adopted in the
other words, they enjoy practical activity, but are less comfortable numerous tourism-related programmes. Thus, a large freedom in
with theorising and reection. Sometimes (UK, Lashley, 1999; choosing the course contents prevails. Moreover, there has been a
Australia, Barron and Accordia, 2002) they display preferences for dramatic increasing number of tertiary academic and training
activist learning styles, according to act rst and consider the courses (UK, Peacock and Ladkin, 2002). Thus, a high competition
consequences later; sometimes (Hong Kong, Singapore, and between course suppliers is observed. Finally, there appears to be a
Taiwan, Wong et al., 2000) they display preferences for reector lack of strategic plans and policy guidelines on the development of
learning style, with learning through observation and beneting tourism training and education in many countries (UK, Amoah and
from the opportunity to think before acting. Baum, 1997), with divergent, and sometimes opposed, curricula
F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29 5

development viewpoints and training approaches within regions. tourism graduating course vs. a tourism non-graduating or a non-
Thus, a lack of binding policy suggestions in moulding the course tourism graduating course. Thus, this framework would seem to be
contents prevails. well depicted by referring to the job matching literature (about
These facts lead educational institutions to provide tourism training and education issues, see Dolado et al., 2000; Brunello and
education and training being predominantly industry-driven (or Medio, 2001; Rosholm and Svarer, 2004; Moen and Rosen, 2004).
employability-driven) with narrow perspectives of either profes- However, these models assume, among other things such as on-
sionalism (i.e. responding to industrys requirements for a skilled the-job search or endogenous turnover, an exogenous proportion
workforce) or service quality (i.e. meeting the tourists expecta- of trained and educated students (workers) as well as an
tions) (China, Cai and Zhang, 2004; South Africa, Kaplan, 2004; exogenously amount of high quality and low quality rms
Italy, Pechlaner et al., 2006). In other words, students are often (vacancies), and aim at predicting, among other things such as
formed to meet local and current demands with no specialisation. wage dispersion or job duration, the amount of training as
Nevertheless, educational institutions should be aware that dependent on the efciency of the matching process (or search
several alternative routes could have been taken: for example, frictions) or the exogenous or endogenous inow rate into
prepare students to respond to the changing demands of the highly unemployment (or employment).
volatile, competitive and sophisticated, global tourism industry, This paper is not focused on unemployment or employment
rather than to meet current demands, form students for the rates or market efciency so these models do not seem the best
international rather than for the local market (Australia, Barron, references to explain the prevalence of a strategic non-optimal
2006), prepare students for specialist functions in the industry, long-run equilibrium: the evolutionary game literature seems to
rather than for generic employment positions. be more appropriate. However, the job matching models can be
considered in order to identify payoffs for rms and students. In
3.4. Governmental institutions particular, by using large case letters for rms and small case
letters for students, we will call G and g the return to high quality
There is little evidence of public and private commitment to rms from employing tourism graduated students, and the return
initiate well-coordinated long-term investment in tourism train- to graduated students from working in high quality rms,
ing and education (Thailand, Esichaikul and Baum, 1998). respectively; we will name N and n the return to rms from
However, the rationale for government involvement could be employing tourism non-graduated or differently-from-tourism
based on at least two reasons: moving the labour market towards a graduated students, and the return to students from working in
quality enhanced tourism services, for rms to compete inter- low quality rms, respectively; we will call CE and ce the cost for
nationally in the global tourism market, by raising quality rms to train tourism graduated students, and the cost for students
standards and gaining competitive advantage, and for students to complete a tourism graduating course, respectively; we will
to be reective practitioners, with a harder learning effort today for name CT and ct the cost for rms to educate tourism non-
satisfactory occupation tomorrow; dealing with environmental graduated or differently-from-tourism graduated students, and
(South Africa, Tesone, 2004) and ethical (UK, Canada, and Australia, the cost for students to complete a tourism non-graduating or a
Hudson and Miller, 2006) issues, towards a tourism that is differently-from-tourism graduating course. Thus, the strategic
sustainable through time (in both developed and developing interaction between students and rms can be represented as in
countries), and that favours the poverty reduction and equity Table 1.
enhancement or contrasts racial and gender discrimination (in Notice that it is here assumed that higher returns G and g to
developing countries) as well as that prevents corporate scandals. rms and students arise where the match between high quality
Nevertheless, models of integration between the development rms and tourism graduated students occurs only.
of national tourism policy with that of education and training Features characterising rms and students can be depicted as
provision for the sector are offered by the Republic of Ireland and follows. Firms are intrinsically prone to disregard tourism
Canada. graduated students, because they do not recognise the importance
of education (small G  N), there is no interest in education by
4. The optimal long-run equilibrium dynamic students and people involved in recruitment (G  N < 0), they perceive uncer-
employees tain nature and content of tourism degrees, and unclear differences
from other related service sector programmes (unclear G  N).
The previous section highlighted the prevalence of tourism Next, they are strategically driven to avoid the tourism graduated
non-graduated or differently-from-tourism graduated employees students, because small rms cannot bear the cost of moving to
in the tourism labour market. This section will present it as a graduated employees (large CE), large rms would not obtain
strategic non-optimal long-run equilibrium, by stressing that the permanent benets by moving to graduated employees (large CE),
employment of tourism graduated students is an equilibrium too. and both small and large rms face a high drop-out rates by
In our context, there is a single labour market where high and employees (large CE).
low tourism-service quality rms can choose to employ tourism Similarly, students are intrinsically prone to choose tourism
graduated students vs. tourism non-graduated or differently-from- non-graduating courses, because people aiming for a job in tourism
tourism graduated students, while each student can choose a often have no traditional career ambitions (small g  n), they enjoy

Table 1
The tourism labour market as an evolutionary game

Firms look for

Tourism graduated (dynamic) Tourism non-graduated or differently-from-


employees tourism graduated (static) employees

Students choose
Tourism graduating courses G  CE, g  ce N  CE, n  ce
Tourism non-graduating or differently- N  CT, n  ct N, n  ct
from-tourism graduating courses
6 F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29

practical activity, but are less comfortable with theorising and


reection (large ce  ct). Next, students are strategically driven to
choose tourism non-graduating courses, because they do no
perceive a clear career ladder (small g  n), and they face a tough
competition with non-skilled employees and with differently
skilled employees (small g  n).
Notice that rms can hardly implement or cannot implement
education courses so that CT should be assumed to be huge or 1,
respectively.
The evolutionary game models applied to the job market either
do not consider alternative strategies (see Rodrigo et al., 2006) or
introduce additional specic problems such as shirking by rms Fig. 1. The ratio between static and dynamic operators in relation to the number of
and employees (see Tesfatsion, 2001): both these features make dynamic operators, which meet consumers demand, where PI = 4 and a = b = 1.

these models not to be the best reference to represent out context.


The theoretical model by Kandori et al. (1993) seems to be (b = 1 + bDO) for a given complexity of tourist services, for xed
appropriate, since a simple procedure to identify the long-run productive instruments PI:
R R
equilibrium is depicted. In particular, static students and
x in 0;1 y in 0;PI x Gammax; a y Gammay; b dx dy
employees will prevail in the long-run as a Nash equilibrium, CD R R
x in 0;1 y in 0;PI Gammax; a Gammay; b dx dy
i.e. there is no incentive for each player to change unilaterally his
decision, provided min[CT/(G + CT  N), (ce  ct)/(g  n)] is large: where the numerator represents the consumers demand for
all intrinsic and strategic features characterising both rms and tourist services characterized by a degree of complexity and of
students tend to support this condition. concern equal to x and y, respectively, while the denominator
Needless to say that educational institutions providing tourism represents the consumers demand for all possible tourist services.
education and training being predominantly industry-driven tend Moreover, let the static operators activity be driven by the
to favour the prevalence of this non-optimal equilibrium, by consumer demand: SO = CD. Finally, let the dynamic operators
making it to be the status quo. However, also dynamic students activity be driven by dynamics of the consumer demand:
and employees is a Nash equilibrium. Indeed, if rms offered a DO = @CD/@DO.
quality enhanced tourism services, as suggested by governmental Figs. 14 show the suitable values of SO/DO and DO to meet
institutions, tourism non-graduated or differently-from-tourism consumers demand as grey areas: indeed, the minimum number
graduated students would not get a job. Analogously, if rms of static operators for each dynamic operator is depicted by the
competed internationally in a global tourism market, they would curve below (obtained as CD/DO), so that the suitable values of SO/
never employ tourism non-graduated or differently-from-tourism DO are above it, i.e. the number of static operators for each
graduated students. dynamic operator must be equal or greater than its required
minimum; similarly, the minimum number of dynamic operators
is depicted by the curve above (obtained as DO = @CD/@DO), so that
5. The demand of static for each dynamic student and the suitable values of DO are on the right of it, i.e. the number of
employee

The previous section emphasised the dynamic (educated)


students and employees as an optimal long-run equilibrium. This
section will show that this equilibrium is not detrimental to the
static (trained) students. It will be stressed that an effective
education system might actually increase the employment
opportunities for trained students, to a greater extent in a
technological lively sector and to a lesser extent in a mature
industry.
Let PI(t) be the set of productive instruments available at time t,
ordered for complexity: for example, one could index them
between 0 and 4, where 4 is an arbitrary real number. Think of air
Fig. 2. The ratio between static and dynamic operators in relation to the number of
conditioning, wireless Internet access, although many other
dynamic operators, which meet consumers demand, where PI = 4 and a = b = 1.5.
features could be mentioned. Next, let CC be the consumer
concern about a specic issue, ordered such that 0 is associated to
the maximum insensitive consumer and 1 to the maximum
sensitive consumer. Think of environmental or ethical concerns in
tourism, although many other characteristics could be considered.
Thus, the proportion of people, in a given society, demanding the
tourist services CD(t), depends on their degree of concern about a
specic issue involved and on the degree of complexity of the
productive instruments used.
Let the consumers demand (CD) be depicted by a bivariate
Gamma distribution and be dependent on dynamic operators
activity (DO), that favours a greater availability of complicated
tourist services (a = 1 + aDO) for a given environmental and ethical
concern by consumers, as well as that fosters the concern about Fig. 3. The ratio between static and dynamic operators in relation to the number of
environmental and ethical issues by a larger number of consumers dynamic operators, which meet consumers demand, where PI = 4 and a = b = 0.5.
F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29 7

(e.g. management areas, accounting areas, etc.) (Mayaka and Akama,


2007), balanced (or multi-disciplinary) approach/functional
(nance, accounting, service quality, marketing and human resource
management) (Martin and McEvoy, 2003); as far as how to teach,
apart from Internet (Bailey and Morais, 2005), lectures, lms, videos,
case studies (Lashley and Barron, 2006), working groups, research
projects, there are simulations (Lashley and Barron, 2006), off-school
internship systems (Lee et al., 2006). This section will suggest a
possible educational strategy that could allow to move away from
the non-optimal strategic long-run equilibrium, by achieving
Fig. 4. The ratio between static and dynamic operators in relation to the number of
those public objectives, by relying on these feasible educational
dynamic operators, which meet consumers demand, where PI = 2 and a = b = 1. approaches, and by taking into account the private characteristics of
rms and students: opportunities and difculties of the required
coordination between stakeholders will also be discussed.
dynamic operators must be equal or greater than its required
minimum. 6.1. A possible educational strategy
Notice that the demand for both static and dynamic operators is
assumed to be proportional to @CD/@DO and CD, respectively, so High quality standards seem to require specialisation, with an
that only relative comparisons are meaningful: we will use PI = 4 international tourism education (with a long-run perspective),
and a = b = 1 as reference parameter values. subject to tourism training (with a short-run perspective) for
Figs. 2 and 3 can be read by saying that a more (and less) rms: simulations might help. The theming with base of knowl-
effective education system for dynamic operators, here depicted by edge is suggested. Sustainable and ethical tourism seem to be
a = b = 1.5 > 1 (and a = b = 0.5 < 1), increases (and decreases) the better implemented with topics across curricula: a vertical
need for static operators: it allows (and it does not allow) to integration between schools and universities is suggested, while
uncover new consumers demand. interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary approaches seem to be
Fig. 4 can be interpreted by stating that in more mature tourism equivalently effective. This would lead to clear standardised
industries (or in less technologically changing societies), here qualications to favour rms in their decisions. Firms, in turn,
depicted by PI = 2 < 4, characterised by small potential innova- should adopt internship (with a short-run perspective), subject to a
tions, dynamic operators play a smaller role, i.e. there is little new clear career ladder (with a long-run perspective) to favour students
consumers demand to be uncovered. in their decisions. This would provide students with both
By referring to 2 dynamic operators (DO = 2), insights obtained incentives to stay in the job positions (with benets for rms)
from Figs. 24 can be summarised as in Table 2. and incentives to enrol in the university courses (with benets for
In other words, in order to meet consumers demand, it might educational institutions). However, these chains require the
be required from 1000% to 1100% (and from 15% to 20%) of static coordination between governmental and educational institutions,
operators for each dynamic operator, in case of a more (and less) between schools and universities, between educational institu-
effective education system for dynamic operators. Next, it might be tions and rm.
required from 70% to 75% of static operators for each dynamic
operator, in case of a more mature tourism industry (or a less 6.2. Coordinating educational and governmental institutions
technologically changing society).
Policies about tourism development should be made consistent
6. Combining public objectives and private needs with policies about tourism education and training, according to
established frameworks (Amoah and Baum, 1997), by taking into
Previous sections highlighted at least two objectives (sustainable account not only local and current needs (in order to equalise
and ethical tourism) for governmental and educational institutions demand and supply of educated and trained workers), but also
to pursue. Due to the inter-disciplinary nature of tourism, the international and future requirements, by preparing students and
multiplicity of stakeholders, and the highly fragmented and multi- rms to anticipate (and drive) the tourism demands. In terms of
faceted characteristics of the industry, there exist different payoffs of Table 1, this amounts to increase the perceived values of
approaches to curriculum design and development: as far as what G and g.
to teach, there are training vs. education (Formica, 1996), topics in Difculties are present, but Canada and the Republic of Ireland
specic courses vs. across curricula (Tesone, 2004), generic or represent successful examples, with coordination at both national
market or functional vs. theming with base of knowledge (Dale and and provincial level.
Robinson, 2001), systemic (o inter-disciplinary) approach/specic
6.3. Coordinating universities and schools
Table 2
Ranges of static operators for each dynamic operator which meet consumers Policies on tourism education and training should provide a
demand, with respect to the reference level of the education system efcacy and the
balance between professional skills, basic knowledge, thematic
tourism industry maturity
specialisation: students should reach professional skills in order to
The reference tourism A more mature meet the current qualitative need of rms (a smaller CE in Table 1);
industry maturity tourism industry
both students and rms should achieve basic knowledge in order
(PI = 4) (PI = 2)
to understand and anticipate future tourism dynamics (by
A more effective education 1011
combining management, nance, human resources, marketing,
system (a = b = 1.5)
The reference education 1 0.700.75 research and development) with students to be suitable for future
system efcacy (a = b = 1) job opportunities and rms to be able to drive current consumer
A less effective education 0.150.20 demand (larger G and g in Table 1); and rms should reach
system (a = b = 0.5) thematic specialisation in order to meet future qualitative needs of
8 F. Zagonari / International Journal of Hospitality Management 28 (2009) 29

consumers (a smaller CT in Table 1). International standards Acknowledgements


should be pursued (Airey and Tribe, 2005) in order to convey a
clear message to rms, that compete, and to students, that work, in I would like to thank Corrado Benassi (Universita di Bologna),
a global market (Weber, 2006). Guido Candela (Universita di Bologna), Carlo Nicolini (Istituto
Tecnico per il Turismo di Fano), and two anonymous referees for
6.4. Coordinating educational institutions and enterprises their fruitful comments to a previous version of the paper.

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