ECOTOUR - Energy Efficiency Management In Tourism Industry

E-learning national framework

The ECOTOUR project goal is to give managers in the tourism industry the required know how to monitor energy consumption and achieve a good level of energy efficiency in the execution of their job. Based on the methodological framework that has been developed in  the project, all Ecotour partners executed desk and field research in their respective regions to determine what the actual needs of the target group are.

The primary target group of the project is SMEs active in the tourism sector and in particular managers and staff of hotels, restaurants, pensions, tourism units, tourism agencies, suppliers and manufacturers from the tourism industry. Also the indirect target group, consisting of organisations providing training and consultancy to the tourism companies, have been directly involved in the training needs research phase.


Project research has been executed in the following regions:
- Romania, East region : research executed by project partner North-East RDA
- Romania, region : research executed by project partner APT BUCOVINA
- Italy, region : research executed by project partner EUROCREA MERCHANT
- The Netherlands, Frisian Region : research executed by project partner BDF Friesland
- Spain, Extremadura region : research executed by project partner FUNDECYT PCTEX
- Spain, Catalonian region : research executed by project partner FUNDITEC
- Spain, Valencian region : research executed by project partner AVAESEN
- Austria, region : research executed by project partner ENERGON
- Finland, Kainnuu region : research executed by project partner KAINNUU ETU OY
In total, 381 business owners, managers and employees in the tourism industry have been interviewed to determine the level of their know how to monitor energy consumption, their whiches and needs regarding training on the topic of energy efficiency. 

Profile of the respondents
The vast majority of the respondents of the questionnaire work in the tourist accommodation service, either in a family owned hotel or in a hotel operated by an independent management. The companies of the tourism industry in this survey represent more or less an equal number of companies from the city and from the country side. Most companies employ 9 employees or less and booked less than 15.000 overnight stays in 2013 so can be considered small companies. All respondents are aware of the subject energy efficiency.

Conclusions of the research
Building characteristics
The majority of the buildings of the respondents were established before 1981 and consequently most of them experienced renovation and/or extension in most cases to improve the overall quality of the building. However, a fair percentage of 25% of the respondents say that improving the energy efficiency of the building was the driving factor for the renovation.

Energy consumption
The vast majority of the respondents spent less than €100.000,- on energy costs in 2013. Remarkable is that only a third of the
respondents knew how much they have spent on water, heat and electricity. The greater part of the respondents record and analyse energy and water consumption in one ways or another under the responsibility of a specific person (mostly the owner). Data gets measured on a monthly basis most of the time. Over 50% of the respondents say that management does take energy efficiency, energy labels or the EU ecolable into consideration during procurement of equipment, before the design of new constructions and before renovations. Again in over 50% of the cases management adjusts operating modes of systems and equipment to real needs.
Training needs
In most of the cases people have never been trained on the topic of energy efficiency. Respondents were asked in which areas that are of influence on the energy efficiency, training would help to improve theoverall energy efficiency of the company. It is remarkable to see that all areas, except for lift, where mentionned in more than 30% of the cases. Top 3 areas mentionned
are:
- Monitoring of energy consumption and benchmarking
- Heating systems
- Illumination
People prefer a general training for all staff or a training for management. The duration of the training must be sought in hours rather than days.
An Energy Efficiency Network that meets once or twice a year is highly appreciated amongst the respondents. Companies from the
tourism industry are not willing to pay much for a training, between €0,- and €500,- Opinions are divided when it comes to the type of organisation that should deliver the training, whether it is an independent consultancy trainer, private vocational training company, public body or a public vocational training organisations.

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