Practical tourism training in University of National and World Economy
Elenita Velikova, University of National and World Economy, Department Economy of Tourism (Bulgaria)
Mariana Ianeva, University of National and World Economy, Department Economy of Tourism (Bulgaria)
Ilia Gatovski, University of National and World Economy, Economics of Transport and Energy (Bulgaria)
The increasing importance of the tourism industry for the Bulgarian economy raises a number of challenges for tourism education in high schools. The predominant share of services in tourism supply further complicates the activity of providing quality tourism product. These facts, as well as continuous updating of the tourism industry and the addition of new sectors to it, determine the highest requirements, which are brought to the tourism staff. Modern travel managers operate in a very dynamic and constantly changing environment. In order to respond to these changing conditions, they need a solid training that has to be provided during their studying in bachelor and master degree.
In recent years one of the most discussed topics in the Bulgarian tourist industry is linking tourism education with real tourism practice. The growing need for well trained staff in theory and practical terms, become perhaps one of the key problems in the Bulgarian tourism. Therefore tourism study in UNWE is entirely with practical and applied focus. Emphasis is interactive forms of learning, in which students have the opportunity to observe and participate in real terms in the management process of tourism enterprises and tourist services. They develop case studies and played various role-playing games in each of the phases of realization of the tourism product - the choice of transportation, accommodation and the manner of its provision and award the organization of additional activities and events, participation in tourism fairs and exchanges, building advertising strategies and many other practical applications.
In this regard, we believe that the question of the practical training of students is extremely topical and is particularly important for higher education in tourism. The aim of the authors of this report is to draw attention to the role of professional practical training about creation of competitive and professionally oriented staff with a high degree of adaptability to the labor market needs. Adapting training to the modern requirements of the tourist business environment will contribute to increasing the competitiveness and image of specialties offering educational training in Transport and Tourism in UNWE.