The consequences of Covid-19 for the tourism industry in the EU cannot at present be accurately assessed – but it is clear, that they will be devastating. The tourism sector is especially vulnerable to crisis (Hall/Williams 2019). T-CRISIS-NAV will enable HEIs to educate existing SMEs and future entrepreneurs in the tourism sector to gain the skills and tools needed to successfully navigate their business through a virulent crisis. They will be fully equipped with the knowledge and actionable tools to analyse the specific extent of crisis impact and develop suitable countermeasures and navigate their company safely through the crisis.
In order to achieve a sustainable effect, we focus not only on HEI but also on SMEs and VET tourism networks and the areas that educate and train future managers, employees and entrepreneurs in the tourism sector. As tourism industry is characterised by an above-average proportion of SMEs, and as these are at the same time particularly vulnerable but also innovative, our work has an effect not only in terms of securing jobs but also on the innovative strength of the entire industry. This is especially true regarding sustainable tourism approaches.
Transport, hospitality, entertainment and related sectors such as taxi drivers will feel the effects for months, if not years, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs throughout Europe will be threatened. This project will build on our existing knowledge with regard to crisis management, turnaround, curricula development and innovative learning content design and fill existing research GAPs with regard to crisis management and needs of SMEs in the tourism sector. Building on this, we will develop an up to date HEI curricula, an actionable VET-Training package, a set of open educational resources addressing SMEs and StartUps and an innovative learning app: all helping to put existing and future owner/managers in tourism SMEs to gain the knowledge and management competencies to navigate their company through the virulent crisis and to become more crises resilient in the future.