International Social Tourism Academy (ISTA), Italy

The ISTO defines social tourism as the whole of relations and phenomena related to the participation in tourism of social classes having modest income, extending this definition to tourist activities meant as contribution to development and solidarity.
Indispensable way to reach quality expression, life quality included.
As in any sector, in fact, tourism also has to face evolutions as well as trend and technology changes.
The important challenge for future years is knowing, interpreting and anticipating changes, going along the quality way.
Facing this challenge in an “industry” where human value is prevailing, means to be committed in a constant and permanent updating.
Quality can not be an umpteenth proposal among many others, but should represent the vector that associates Design, Training and Research by establishing a “certified” method aimed to form people who should face and run the change, for single peculiarities, in an active way.
To achieve this we need a Scientific Coordination (“Academy”) that individuals the best contacts that represent expression of world tourism and can guarantee high standards of competence according to the dictates of the ISTO.
The requirement is then system, be an active part towards all stakeholders: institutions, schools, universities, associations, business and corporate.
The INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL TOURISM ACADEMY wants to enclose all of this:
• scientific coordination
• a support Committee decisions,
• a laboratory of ideas, culture and working with a particular attention to the European and the Mediterranean basin.

In external relations Academy is based on two fundamental principles:
social dialogue, understood as a willingness to engage with all stakeholders, public and private, involved in the tourism system and to carry out training and research activities mainly geared toward the same stakeholders;
1. dialogue as a willingness to confront all stakeholders, public and private, involved in the tourism system and to carry out training and research activities mainly geared towards the same stakeholders;
2. scientific autonomy in choosing and setting up training programmes, the adoption of research methodologies, interpretation of data and of the results achieved in the evaluation of public policies implemented by local authorities and European.

The Academy aims to contribute to achieving the objectives of sustainability and competitiveness of Social Tourism through Planning, training and research

There are many activities to do, we should also analyse the relationship between the Academy and stakeholders:
• the service providers or operators of the sector which is increasingly important behavioral and relational formation, in addition to technical training/educational, where the Academy takes a laboratory physiognomy dispenser constant update (continuing education);
• school and University, aware that education is necessary and preparatory to an Academy that wants to occupy that space in preparation for the world of work.
• local institutions that are an integral part of the system of production development and employment;

The mission achievement goes trough 3 points:
1) Training – in tourism industry human value is undisputable so that it has to be formed first and then constantly updated;
2) Research – constant assets detection aimed to performance improvement trough building research observatories;
3) Design – the Academy aims to promote and implement a design of locally, nationally and internationally primarily aimed at businesses, destinations and local institutions.
The strengths of the Academy are the possibility to carry out training, consultancy for the design and ad hoc surveys.
Among the expected results against objectives will require partnership agreements and international cooperation aimed at the creation of a network of contacts that celebrates and enhances the peculiarity of the Academy.
The achievement of these objectives involves the creation of 4 tables, among them closely linked

This would represent an important step in the educational systems of cohesion Countries participating in the initiative that would also achieve a uniquely professional acclarata representing, inter alia, a further step forward for the free movement of professionals within the EU containing limitations of seasonal employment.

In this case, the research should aim, through the creation of an Observatory, cataloguing of tourist types present on each territory of the acceding countries, in order to reach, through constant monitoring, collection of useful elements for the analysis:
• characteristics of tourists and its expectations;
• the characteristics of structures and their requirements,
• changes of “tourist styles”, both from the point of view of demand and supply in relation to changes in lifestyles, economic developments, prospects;
All these information appropriately processed, compared and analyzed with the vision of a territorial wide system can provide useful elements for the definition of a social conscious and sustainable tourism.

The Academy represents a quality design lab with standardized parameters on the territories of each of the stakeholders participating in the initiative.

Communication and Promotion
It means giving to public Agencies and tourist operators the minimum necessary instruments to develop a sector having a great economic power of which the organisation is not equal to actual society needs.
The table can represent the ideal mean for giving at various levels of territorial governance the indispensables input for defining policies with strong social characterisation in tourist sector.

By Francesco Favia