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Increasing the adaptability of employers and employees in the tourism sector

Increasing the adaptability of employers and employees in the tourism sector

Human resources development


In 2010, the Turkish tourism sector had 1.1 million employees (4% of the workforce) and contributed about €10.6 billion (or 2.3% of GDP) to the national economy. Tourism is an exceptional sector, which contributes to the reduction of the country’s foreign debt and unemployment rate, improves the balance of payments, and multiplies international cultural and social communication. While there is significant potential for different kinds of tourism in different regions of Turkey, this advantage was not fully exploited due to some bottlenecks in the sector. Among these were low service quality and inadequate communication skills of tourism staff as a result of insufficient training.

The project’s aims and core activities

The objective of this project is to increase the quality and adaptability of the human capital involved in the accommodation and food and beverage enterprises in the tourism sector. This objective will be achieved through strengthening the competencies of employees and employers of SMEs and by enhancing the training and consultancy capacities of the social partners, as well as central and local public organisations and institutions, involved in the sector.

To start the project, awareness-raising seminars were held across the country for the different target groups, such as employers, social partners, and service providers. These were followed by a detailed labour force analysis to determine the sector’s demographic profile, its short-, medium-, and long-term supply and demand requirements, and expected labour shortages in each tourism region and occupation.

This information provided the basis for the development of training materials and a new, modern curriculum, which required the production of a website, booklets, and videos for the use by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

It also led to the setting up of a voucher programme to enable under-skilled employees and employers in areas with tourism potential to benefit from on-the-job retraining or further training at selected private or public institutions.

The project also sought to increase awareness of green star certification, which aims to reconcile environmentally benign practices with high service and spatial standards in tourism.


IPA I (2007–2013)


  • Budget: €7.704 million (EU contribution €6.548 million)
  • Province: Nationwide, Adıyaman, Ağrı, Amasya, Ardahan, Artvin, Batman, Bayburt, Bingöl, Bitlis, Çankırı, Çorum, Diyarbakır, Elâzığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Hakkâri, Hatay, Iğdır, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Malatya, Mardin, Muş, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Şırnak, Sivas, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Van, Yozgat, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, İstanbul, İzmir, Muğla, Nevşehir
  • (Focusing on the 43 above-mentioned provinces in 12 NUTS II regions, as well as the 7 provinces mentioned last)
  • Status: Ongoing (completion expected in 2015)