ViaVia Tourism Academy
ViaVia Tourism Academy (VVTA) is a non-profit center of expertise and training on the level of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in sustainable tourism for sustainable development. It aims to build the capacity and strengthen the competences of tourism professionals and entrepreneurs, in order to deploy sustainable tourism and tourism entrepreneurship as leverage for economic, social and cultural local development. VVTA focuses both on current entrepreneurs in this sector (tour guides, tour operating businesses, hospitaly industry, etc) and on the future generations of tourism professionals (tourism and sustainable development students). The Academy was founded in 2001 as Living Stone Dialoog. It has grown out of the expertise and social commitment of the Belgian Tour Operator Joker. VVTA partners with tourism and hospitality businesses, educational institutions and local governments to contribute to the awareness raising and capacity building in sustainable tourism implementations. ViaVia Tourism Academy builds on a dynamic ‘Knowledge – Experience – Sharing’ triangle to carry out its activities. • Knowledge: Translating our knowledge and field experience into hands-on tools for vocational training. • Experience: Applying the learned, and adjusting: putting theory into practice. Setting up our own social enterprises and tourism businesses. • Sharing: our applied expertise and experience with the professional and educational field. VVTA offers VET training programmes in Europe as well as developing countries in Africa, South America and Asia. VVTA’s training expertise is in sustainable, innovative and social entrepreneurship, innovative and sustainable product development, tourism for sustainable development, and more. VVTA coordinates the Flemish Network for Sustainable and Innovative Tourism, connecting all high schools, university colleges and universities in Flanders who offer tourism studies. For this network, VVTA offers educational activities, workshops and a yearly conference to teachers, lecturers and graduates in tourism studies. VVTA is active on a global scale through their worldwide network of ViaVia Traveler Cafés. These are social enterprises in the hospitality sector that offer qualitative job opportunities and entrepreneurial partnerships to local communities. Since 1995, approximately every year a new ViaVia Café has been founded around the world. VVTA coordinates this network of currently 17 social enterprises on 4 continents.