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Seeking leaders to run their industry in the 21st century are two of the largest worldwide tourism associations — United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Skål International.

The headquarters of both organizations are in Spain — UNWTO in Madrid and Skål International in Torremolinos.

UNWTO is the principal international organization in tourism, with 156 member states, six associate members, two permanent observers and more than 400 affiliate members.

UNWTO’s priorities:
•    Integrate tourism systematically into the global agenda
•    Improve tourism competitiveness
•    Promote knowledge, teaching and training
•    Forge associations

Skål International is the largest organization for professionals in the tourism industry worldwide, the only international association bringing together all branches of the tourism industry with approximately 17,000 members in 400 clubs in 87 countries and territories. This year, the organization is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its foundation. There are 16 clubs and approximately 400 members in Spain.

Skål’s mission
Through leadership, professionalism and friendship, the association aims to collaborate to achieve its vision, maximize networking opportunities and support a responsible tourism industry.

The agreement between UNWTO and Skål

  • On July 21, UNWTO and Skål International will sign an agreement so that Tourism Masters Graduates from universities and schools, which join the scheme, can receive practical training in companies of Skål members approved by UNWTO.
  • The objective of the agreement is that the 17,000 companies on the five continents, which make up Skål International, will have a basic course structure so students can complete their academic studies with practical experience.
  • This formation will be based on parameters different from those of traditional teaching, and only students who have shown their capabilities will be eligible for the practical training.
  • Why is it not always the most intelligent student who has the greatest success? Some of them have greater abilities than others when faced with setbacks, when overcoming obstacles and seeing difficulties from a different angle. Emotional intelligence can be promoted and strengthened and the lack thereof can influence a professional career. Learning to support work pressures and frustrations, accentuate capacity for team work and adopting an empathetic and social attitude offer better possibilities for personal and professional development.
  • Identify the aptitudes each person has when fulfilling certain tasks and for developing team work, the innovation of procedures or taking the initiative can give the profile, which is needed for 21st Century tourism leaders.
  • The capacity to lead is one of the qualities that are sought after in 21st century companies. New managers in the tourism sector have the challenge to be able to lead multidiscipline teams, which must also be very polyvalent, polyglot and have a strategic vision of tourism development in different areas.


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