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Youth empowerment through sustainable tourism advocacy
Date du début: 31 août 2015, Date de fin: 30 janv. 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The youth exchange between Sweden and Albania called “Youth empowerment through sustainable tourism advocacy”, took place January 2016 in the dynamic Öresund region. During a five day youth exchange we brought together eight young volunteers from a social project called Free Tour Albania, four students from Dalarna University's International Tourism Management-programme and four other participants, who had a high interest in sustainable tourism and social entrepreneurship. The background of the project lies in the recent European trend of dramatic increase of youth unemployment. The main objective of the project was to tackle youth unemployment in a long-term perspective, which is one of the Europe´s 2020 highlight targets, via promoting the topic of social entrepreneurship in the area of sustainable tourism. The project increased the participants’ knowledge and tools within social entrepreneurship and sustainability through through different workshops, lectures and study visits. The participants for example partook in a lecture about sustainability in collaboration with Lund University's social innovation centre, where they also visited the team behind the electric car Uniti. This gave them both the knowledge on sustainability and concrete examples of working within the framework of sustainability. The participants were encouraged to develop their project skills by first participating in a workshop ‘Redesigning the World, where different project management skills and teams were introduced. The participants created their own social projects within the framework of sustainable tourism, which they later continued planning during another workshop on social entrepreneurship. One of the days was spent in Copenhagen where the participants experienced a walking tour of the city by Free Walking Tour Copenhagen and a discussion about it, where they learnt methods of having such a tour. This especially invaluable for Free Tour Albania as they work with a similar project, and it is also a concrete example of working within sustainable tourism. On the last day of the exchange the participants visited Ecotopia, which is an eco-friendly farm and living environment, where knowledge was gained through discussions and a tour around the premises. The project has had a positive impact on the participants through the knowledge, tools, practical skills and hands-on experience as well as inspiration gained throughout the training, which has empowered them within their work, studies and community development, and we expect that this will in the long-run impact positively their employability and studies. We see that the project will also positively affect their communities in a broader perspective, since the project is strongly connected with social entrepreneurship. By developing and applying the concept of sustainable tourism, the young individuals will have a positive impact on their communities - increase of jobs especially in a service sector, broader cultural awareness and positive impacts on local nature and environment.



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