This paper explores knowledge needs and skills in statistics relevant to jobs in the Italian tourism sector. The aim is to give a contribution to helping design training courses and materials for tourism statistics users working in different businesses and organizations. Hints on user-related difficulties, issues and solutions are drawn from the 20 year long experience of the Master's programme in the Economics and Management of Tourism offered at Ca' Foscari University, the aim of which, as far as statistics are concerned, is to build skills focusing on the 'use' of statistical information as a tool for industry and the public sector.
The challenge of this kind of programme is to create a common background in tourism statistics for students coming from Humanities and for those with previous training in statistics.
The paper reports on a three phased study of the issues:
1. In depth-interviews to present-day Master students, as they can give accurate feedback on the difficulties incurred and the skills-development process. As a result an understanding emerges of the importance of considering different educational backgrounds while designing training methods and materials, and the difficulties to be overcome in relation to 'barriers' perceived by neophytes and students with different cognitive approaches.
2. Inquiry on statistics users: a sample of the Master's Alumni working in diverse tourism businesses and organizations have been interviewed to investigate how tourism statistics are utilized by the tourism sector in Italy, and which skills related to statistics are used by professionals, according to:
– the business they work for (education, hotels, medias, DMOs, OLTA, etc.)
– their pre-master educational background.
3. Preliminary guidelines: the results allow researchers to design preliminary guidelines for training programmes addressed to tourism statistics users. The report also includes insights on the level of penetration of 'tourism statistics use' in Italian SMEs.
Keywords: Tourism statistics; Education; Job-related skills; Statistics users
Biography: Mara Manente is Director of CISET- Ca' Foscari University Venice. She has over 20 years experience in teaching and researching on the macroeconomics of tourism, the economic impact of tourism, tourism demand analysis and forecasting, transport and tourism and tourism statistics. She is a member of the UNWTO Steering Committee on Statistics, Macroeconomic Analysis of Tourism and Tourism Satellite Accounts and consultant for many national and international institutions (Eurostat, European Commission, etc.).