The blue economy represents 5.4 million jobs in Europe and a gross added value of almost 500,000 million euros per year. Among the sectors with greater possibilities within the blue economy is maritime Tourism, which is an important source of entrepreneurship. This sector includes entrepreneurship in tourism services related to ecology and sustainability because it can encourage responsible tourism that respects the environment in certain coastal sites not operated by the traditional tourism industry.
According to the annual economic report on the blue economy of the EU presented by the European Commission, coastal tourism contributes in a very significant way to the creation of jobs. Therefore, the blue tourism sector has a special potential to encourage the development of new companies, which implies the implementation of actions that aim to improve business skills of young people who have a vocation for entrepreneurs and who want to have a greater knowledge of blue tourism linked to ecology.
The objectives of the “Ecoblue tourism” project are:
- To increase entrepreneurship opportunities in blue ecotourism in coastal countries through an innovative training methodology (within the framework of EntreComp) to improve the entrepreneurial skills of long-term unemployed youngsters who wish to develop their own ideas and businesses in this sector.
- The implementation of a training course in centres and training organizations. To meet this objective, the contents on entrepreneurship related to blue ecotourism will be developed so that students can complete the course in a flexible way through a learning app.
- The improvement of the professional competence of adult trainers, in relation to the teaching method through an app, in the areas related to the promotion of entrepreneurship in blue tourism.
This improvement will allow a greater preparation of these trainers to transmit knowledge about entrepreneurship and the preparation of business plans in the blue ecotourism activity.
The main beneficiaries of the project will be long-term unemployed young people who want to improve their skills in entrepreneurship and trainers who will know a new method of entrepreneurship training aimed at creating companies in blue ecotourism. The project will be directed to other interested parties such as training centres, entrepreneur organizations, chambers of commerce, business associations, and local, regional or national authorities related to entrepreneurship and tourism.
The following intellectual outputs will be developed to achieve the intended objectives
- A training guide on blue ecotourism business plans: aims to teach how to prepare a blue ecotourism business plan.
- An Ecoblue tourism Mobile learning app: it is an application that will run on smartphones and tablets compatible with Android and iOS systems. The contents will be related to entrepreneurship to acquire business skills aimed at creating a blue ecotourism company. In the project, there is a learning activity (Ecoblue tourism for trainers) aimed at professors specialized in the subject of entrepreneurship.
Finally, it is planned to design a training course to meet the entrepreneurial needs of the blue ecotourism sector. To fulfill this objective, the content of the course will follow the ECVET methodology within the EntreComp framework. It will be incorporated into the training offer of different training centres so that they can help unemployed young people to enter the labor market through self-employment. The “Ecoblue tourism” project will help promote the employment and economic integration of unemployed youngsters in Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and, Turkey, offering innovative solutions for their training as future entrepreneurs with the aim of creating companies in an important economic activity.