New children’s books aim to promote careers in tourism

Two books for children have been published in a bid to promote tourism jobs to young people.

Backed by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the University of Surrey, they are aimed at readers aged five to 11.

The initiative was conceived as a response to the tourism industry’s staff shortage crisis which emerged following the pandemic. 

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ETC and the University of Surrey aim to increase the visibility of the  skills that can be learnt from a job in tourism. 

The publication of the books came as research found that tourism jobs are frequently perceived as offering lower wages, long working hours and stressful environments.

Both books – ‘Dee and Flee at the Theme Park’ by Julia Hubery and ‘Searchlight: The Rock’ by Ann Bryant – follow characters in tourism roles, emphasising their growth in life skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving as they navigate their adventures. 

The books are being published in conjunction with a research paper by ETC and the University of Surrey on the transferable skills gained by tourism professionals, which serves as the academic underpinning of the project.

ETC chief operating officer Teodora Marinska said: “ETC is thrilled to launch this project dedicated to supporting the vital engine behind the tourism industry – its workforce. 

“Ensuring a skilled and fulfilled body of European tourism professionals is crucial to the ongoing success of our industry, especially as we face the challenges of the green and digital transitions. 

“Through this initiative with the University of Surrey, we want to engage young people’s creativity to consider the personal and professional benefits of working in the travel and hospitality sector.”

University of Surrey School of Hospitality and Tourism Managementsenior tourism lecturer Brigitte Stangl added: “Working on this project has been an honour, crafting books that reveal the magic of the tourism and hospitality industry to kids. 

“These stories not only showcase the creation of memorable experiences but also the vital life skills gained by working in this sector. 

“Celebrating the wide range of roles performed by the unsung heroes of this industry, we underscore the pride and joy found in enhancing society’s well-being. 

“Our goal is to inspire the next generation to view tourism and hospitality as avenues for personal and societal growth, one unique experience at a time.”

Image: Monkey Business Images/

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