The CULTOUR project starts with a research on intercultural competencies in tourism



Business Foundation for Education is the Bulgarian partner in the CULTOUR project, which aims to overcome the skills gap and foster mobility in Tourism sector trough the recognition, validation and up-skilling of intercultural competences for tourism jobs.


The project started in September 2015 and its first activity is a survey among employers, employees, VET trainers and company instructors, as well as policy experts and stakeholders. It aims to identify the intercultural competencies, which are most needed for tourism sector jobs and the ways to achieve them.

To take part in the suervey, please fill in interview questionnaire for managers, experts and trainers and the survey for employees in the tourism sector not later than December 31, 2015.

Tourism is very important for the European economy, accounting for over 5% of EU GDP and employing an estimated 15.2 million persons. It also has one of the highest labour mobility rates across Europe. Nevertheless, skills shortage in tourism jobs is putting at real risk the employment in the sector.


The partners of CULTOUR project have identified that one main area of skills gap in tourism sector is related with the growing requirement of intercultural competencies necessary to deal with customers, co-workers and employees. This skills gap is transversal to the tourism sector and affects a wide range of professional roles, including employees, instructors and employers.


Taking into account the very high proportion of personnel without formal qualifications, validation of informal and non-formal learning is crucial for enhancing workers mobility.


To do so, the CULTOUR will implement the following activities:

  • Identify the specific intercultural knowledge, skills and competences required for tourism sector jobs;
  • Design innovative methodologies to train intercultural competencies in tourism jobs;
  • Establish a common framework of intercultural competencies for tourism sector jobs between the participating countries, to facilitate the validation and transparency of skills and mobility of tourism professionals;
  • Develop an Open Online Center to reinforce learning provision and exchange of experience.

The project involves 6 partners from European countries, in which more than 10% of the citizens are occupied in tourism:

  • SUD CONCEPT, France – project promoter and coordinator
  • Business Foundation for Education, Bulgaria
  • ISTAMBULAB, Turkey
  • ISQ, Portugal
  • INFODEF, Spain
  • ERIFO, Italy.

The initiative has been implemented with the support of the European Commission, Erasmus+ Programme and will continue until September 2017.