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Friday, 04 March 2022 07:30

CAHA is starting a new Erasmus+ project aimed at developing a professional profile for Gastro-Guide

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Gastro-Guide, new professional profile for rural sustainability through education and promotion of agro-food and gastronomy (GASTRO-GUIDE), Ref. No. 2021-1-ES01-KA220-VET-000034772

The role of tourism in the sustainable development of the rural areas and the local economy as a whole, especially in a post-pandemic situation, is unquestionable. Tourism provides many job opportunities to the unemployed who want to re-enter the labor market and is the largest employer of young people, migrants, part-time workers and women. However, research shows that there is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit for the successful rural development; particularly among the younger generations who consider working in the tourism sector unattractive due to low salaries and limited perspectives. In addition, the lack of information exchange and coordination among the local actors often poses a significant drawback to the development of the rural tourism initiatives.

To overcome these shortages in business skills and in internal and external cooperation, and to contribute to the development and enhancement of rural tourism, the Gastro-Guide project was launched in February 2022. The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Association (CAHA) partners with 8 other organizations from Northern, Southern and Central Europe to develop a new professional profile of a coach who trains the people in disadvantaged rural areas in Europe on how to promote their own village and welcome visitors. The consortium brings together different experiences of work in rural development and in educational technology development and training. The team unites VET centers, University College, small enterprise, women association and social partners from Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy, Lithuania and Bulgaria under the skillful guidance of the Chamber of Commerce in Teruel, Spain.

The goal of the project is twofold: on one hand it aims at improving the living conditions in the rural communities by promoting their natural and cultural heritage, thus increasing public interest and on the other hand it provides opportunities for marginalized people lo enter the labour market.

The Gastro-Guide as a coach is a solution for those who think of leaving the rural and mountain areas, by offering them a very strong reason to stay in their village.

The main target groups of the project are micro-entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, farmers, culinary professionals, women, unemployed people, and cultural guides.

The project's objective is not merely limited to the development of the Gastro-Guide professional profile, but it aspires to formally establish a European Community of Gastro-Guides connected through an interactive web platform, Rural Educational Area (REA). REA will serve as a non-formal learning space, where current and potential gastro-guides can consult videos, pedagogic resources, trainings and where students, experts, teachers can debate on various topics. The project partners will also introduce the developed training program to a number of public and private institutions within the VET sector, reaching out to professionals on the one hand and to decision-makers on the other.

Gastro-Guide project is financed by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union for a period of 24 months with a total budget of 290,709.

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