NAUTILUS at the 14th annual international Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, in Palma de Mallorca, is presenting the training methodology for Water Sports Tourism Professionals, and the benefits for the tourism industry and the local coastal communities.

Title of Presentation:

Training the trainers in water sports tourism for sustainable development and resilience in coastal regions

Conference presentation abstract:

Water sports tourism, a subcategory of coastal and maritime tourism, contributes to coastal regions’ blue economy and job creation. The water sports tourism professional category embraces several occupations from the water sports sector and the tourism industry. However, due to the seasonality of the job and the lack of career opportunities, the water sports tourism sector does not attract highly skilled personnel, which leads to recruitment difficulties, deskilling, and overseas recruitment.

The case presented in this paper focuses on the water sports instructors, their occupational profile, their training needs, and a proposed upskilling-training and certification scheme that has been developed and implemented by a consortium of three water sports tourism SMEs, a public university, an IT company, and an accreditation organization in the framework of the EU-funded NAUTILUS project (EASME/EMFF). The training approach takes into consideration the heterogeneous groups of learners, their diversity, and different knowledge and educational background. The program offers modular hybrid learning that blends online with on-site training. The online training employs a self-paced and self-regulating learning strategy. Five core building modules with several submodules offer the basic theoretical knowledge in ‘Water Sports Tourism & Hospitality’, ‘Management’, ‘Marketing’, ‘Soft Skills’ and the ‘Blue & Green Environment’. A skills-based workplace training completes the training program. It consists of team-based workshops with real scenarios, theoretical and practice sessions, simulations, and hands-on activities covering the modules of ‘Safety and Risk Management, ‘First-Aid and Rescues’, ‘Protecting and Preserving Biodiversity.

The Nautilus training program offers water sports instructors the opportunity to upskill and become water sports tourism professionals who will be welcomed in the tourism and hospitality industry and act as local ambassadors promoting travel destinations. Furthermore, they will have the knowledge and skills to raise awareness about the preservation and protection of the coasts, the seas, and the oceans for resilience and sustainable tourism development in the coastal regions.

Keywords: vocational training, blue skills, blue careers, watersports tourism, green skills, SDGs, UN Ocean Decade, UN agenda 2030