What is the Platform?

Why Talent Development?

As a labour intensive sector, tourism provides job opportunities for youth through the value chain usually becoming a first level entry into the workforce in urban and rural communities. As a cross-cutting sector, tourism employed 266 million people in 2013 equating to 1 in 11 jobs on the world, which includes direct and indirect jobs. According to WTTC, tourism is expected to create more than 4.7 million additional jobs every year ranging from front line employees guaranteeing customer satisfaction to destination managers guiding strategies for sustainable tourism development. Thus, generating nearly USD 7 trillion or 9% of the world´s GDP. (Source: UNWTO & WTTC)

In this sense, governments, businesses and educational organizations are increasingly looking into ways to enhance the competitiveness of the tourism workforce while providing favourable working conditions for youth as an investment for the future of the sector.


Talent development is a key component of the UNWTO Knowledge Network strategy to bridge theory and practice in tourism by empowering new generations with tools to contribute with the advancement of innovation in tourism by:

  • Connecting the demand and supply of internship and scholarship opportunities globally to promote young talents in the tourism sector
  • Building awareness of the public and private sector and other tourism stakeholders about the importance of promoting young talent
  • Facilitating knowledge transfer on Talent Management to provide integrated means of identifying, developing and retaining young talent in tourism sector
  • Developing bilateral and multilateral talent development activities through the Knowledge Network working groups and foster young talent as potential future leaders in tourism

Key Focus Areas

  • Internships: sharing internship opportunities at UNTWO Members States, UNWTO Affiliate Members and UNWTO Headquarters, exclusively available to students and recent graduates from educational institutions of the UNTWO Affiliate Members and TedQual certified programmes.
  • Scholarships: sharing scholarship opportunities at leading educational institutions of the UNWTO Affiliate Members and TedQual certified programmes. Scholarships are exclusively available for students and young professionals of educational institutions of the UNTWO Affiliate Members and TedQual certified programmes.
  • Research: developing research with a practical focus to allow for enhanced talent development promotion in specific tourism industries, and engaging organizations part of UNWTO Knowledge Network in research to raise the understanding and awareness of identifying, developing and retaining young talent in tourism sector.

The Knowledge Network Talent Development Platform leverages the unique features of the UNWTO Affiliate Members by engaging prestigious educational institutions worldwide, which are educating the tourism leaders of tomorrow; and collaborating with its more than 400 private sector organizations, which are at the forefront of sustainable and competitive tourism. The Platform also has the potential to connect young talents with UNWTO Members and operational programmes to provide opportunities in international development.