The first meeting of Greece’s new tourism education council was attended by the minister of tourism, Elena Kountoura (center); the General Secretary of Tourism and chairman of the council, Evridiki Kourneta; the ministry’s head of the Department of Finance and Administrative Services and deputy chairman of the council, Marianthi Andreou; and members, the director of ASTER Crete, Evagelia Simantiraki; the director of IEK Anavyssos, Charalambia Kovousi, the professor of the Department of Business Administration of the University of the Aegean, Andreas Papatheodorou; and the professor of the Department of Hotel Management of TEI of Athens, Dimitris Laloumis.
Greece’s new tourism education council convened for the first time this week under the supervision of Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura.
The five-member council was set up by the tourism ministry as part of its ongoing strategy to upgrade the country’s tourism product, ensure the highest quality and the sustainability of its resources while increasing the competitiveness of its destinations and its workforce.
Topping the agenda of priorities are updating the tourism schools of higher education (known as ASTER) of Rhodes and Crete, staffing the country’s eight public Institutes of Vocational Training (IEK), bringing tourism education curriculum up to par with international standards through digital as well as lifelong learning programs.
Kountoura stressed the importance of further training and up-to-date education particularly in view of the sector’s leading role as a pillar of the Greek economy.
The council also examined ways to improve and enhance the educational options available in tourism and to link studies programs with the job market through internships.
Indicatively, the tourism sector in Greece created 100,246 new jobs in April this year, according to data from the labor ministry’s Ergani system. Hospitality accounted for the majority of hirings at 52,609, followed by F&B services at 23,218, retail at 4,879, travel agencies and tour operators for 2,997 new jobs and rental services 1,781 jobs.
At the same time, Rhodes accounted for most new employment positions in the first four months of 2018, with 18,518 new jobs, followed by Heraklion and Chania on Crete.