MODELING THE TOURISM EMPLOYMENT (Restructuring the Career Path)

Project partners:

1) Eskişehir Osmangazi University Rectorate / Faculty

2) Anadolu University Rectorate / Faculty



There is no doubt that it is a must to maintain the natural, historical and cultural tourism assets and transfer them to the future generations. Tourism is one of the main economic activity fields that create employment and income both for Turkey and European countries. However, it appears that employment is based on only economic grounds, thus making tourism industry move on towards unsustainable position, which means that the socio-cultural effects of tourism apart from economy are ignored.

Human element is the basic element of tourism. Tourism requires the ability to communicate and interact with individuals from all over the world, taking the responsibility to understand their lifestyle and culture.   

Today, the understanding that “tourism brings tourists and foreign currency” should be left aside and we should focus on the dialogues between the tourists and the employees in a more intellectual environment along with revealing the quality of the employees that account for how and how well the employees should be equipped. This is essential for sustainability.   

Now that, tourists are experienced and know what really they want. The satisfaction of such a tourist can only be possible with qualified personnel. That is to say, a qualified employee is the one who possesses ethical decision-making skills, flexible thinking ability, capacity to act understandingly and a habit of lifelong learning.

Surely “the qualified employees are the ones who are employed in a tourism company within the scope of the law of occupation holding their degree in tourism education”. When the issue is taken from this point, the traditional approach towards career path needs to be left out.  

Because today we need employees who own the necessary competencies required for a more sustainable future and are fully equipped with knowledge.  In other words, the employees must be the degree holders in tourism education and can understand the economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability, the relationships between these dimensions and the impact of the balance on the business activities.  

Therefore in the tourism sector there is a need for a new restructuring the way to the career.

The performance of the individuals working in the tourism field and their interest to the visitors greatly influences the quality of the visitor experience. Well-educated and skillful degree holding employees have importance for the sustainability of tourism sector.

Nowadays, we observe that it is possible for the employees who have started their career in the sector without having academic education or vocational training to climb up to management positions as a career path. The workers’ rights in the sector so far could be protected but we need to consider the fact that educational institutions produce thousands of graduates each year. In Turkey, there are over 130 thousand students in high schools, associate degree, undergraduate and graduate levels in the tourism education. This figure means that there are 35 thousand of tourism graduates   from various levels each year.    

There exist some significant lack of legal protections regarding the degrees in Europe and Turkey. For example, in Turkey the employees who possess certificates are also considered as the qualified personnel. The certifications that replace the degrees of the education institutions (high school, university, etc.) are a great source of injustice and human rights violations.   

The solution of the problem will only be possible with developing a new modeling related to the employment of employees in the sector.

In this respect, the following should be done.

  1. a) Recording of all employees in the sector including both schooled and unschooled should be carried out (occupational record-disciplinary procedures),
  2. b) Making comparison and standardization of the course content of educational institutions that produce employees to the sector within the scope of the law of occupation should be put into practice,
  3. c) Determination of skills and competences the existing employees in the sector by taking them go through the adjustment process and developing the employees continually according to new conditions should be done,  
  4. d)  Adjustment of the career steps of the employees under the law of occupation needs to done,
  5. e) Creation of center and provincial organizations of national tourism council based on the tourism profession, execution of the above objectives locally and generally with the organization and determination of all tourism issue standards, particularly in education needs to carried out.  



  1. Recording and tracking the graduates from the educational institutions related to the tourism sector (county tourism council):

Employment in the sector is currently not under registration yet. After the adjustment of existing employees is performed, a database should be established for future employees in the sector and a workforce pool should be made that is consisted of qualified (degree holding employees) employees. The next career path should be based on degrees. In this way, the infrastructure of meeting the industry’s need for qualified labor must be created.    

As a key to the issue; a web portal should be established which will include the records of the potential employees who are the graduates of industry-related educational institutions.

A sector network should be established which will be formed of tourism educators in the country (R & D), the center and district organizations of Ministry of Tourism, the representatives of the sector (Accommodation, Travel, Recreation, Tourist Guides, Food and Beverage Company Representatives).

2) Planning the career process,

3) Determining the areas of employment based on degree types (Accommodation, Recreation, Travel, Tourist Guide and Catering).

4) A system for monitoring the businesses and their employees in accordance with National Tourism Council criteria should be established. (Council and Branches)

Consequently, the aim and the reasons of the restructuring needs towards career path can be summarized as above. Tourism sector is directly affected by the worldwide social, political, economic and environmental changes. Tourism sector is a multidimensional, dynamic and ever-changing industry. In this sense, it is of great importance to be prepared for all the changes with a participatory approach with the qualified and degree holding employees.  

The European Council in conjunction with UNESCO adopted the Lisbon Recognition Convention in 1997 in order for the recognition of Higher Education Degrees including the secondary education.  The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region is the key legal instrument for recognition of qualifications across UNESCO’s Europe and North America Region.  This convention aims for determining the actual position of foreign degrees in host country’s educational system and/or the business sector. In this context, the convention is directly related to academic recognition. Turkey is one of these countries that has signed and ratified the convention. However, it has been impossible so far in Europe to determine the actual positions of the tourism degrees in tourism sector. Along with the model developed by TIYADER, the project will be discussed and the results will be made into reports and then will be shared with all the countries in Europe.  

After the tourism issues reach to the counties and then they are figured out by the county tourism councils and as a result of that the County Tourism Standards will be decided. If these issues are accepted and their solution offers are approved by the Head Office, these will be approved by Ministry of Tourism and a decision at the government level will be made or if they are finalized by the parliament, then National Tourism Standards will be determined. Please refer to the TIYADER Organization Chart for more information.

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