An Emotional Intelligence Training Program in the Tourism Sector
Keywords:Emotional Intelligence, Transformative Learning, training program, tourism, online education
Abstract: In a competitive and continually changing tourism and hospitality sector the need for high qualified and motivated human resources, which meet the current and future business demands is more than ever imperative. As tourism is expected to thrive in the coming years, it is essential for tourism employees to have intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities that lead to positive interactions with customers, contributing to their memorable emotional experiences and delivering at the same time benefits to the tourism industry. On the other hand, putting emphasis on Emotional Intelligence development, through innovative training programs and educational methods, can lead to qualified personnel, which apart from cognitive abilities can also develop emotional abilities, significant for the tourism sector. In this framework, an education and training program that implements Transformative Learning theory, based on critical reflection, rational discourse, and experience, can motivate tourism employees to get outside of their comfort zones and change their assumptions, their dysfunctional beliefs, their values, and the way of being in the world. In a multicultural environment, such as the tourism field, the implementation of Transformative Learning can lead individuals to be more inclusive, open to new cultures and ideas, re-establishing their perspectives and behaviors to be more functional. Additionally, the utilization of digital learning environments, which are extremely popular in the recent years and characterized by flexibility and ubiquity, can contribute to the effectiveness of the learning process and the improvement of Emotional Intelligence. This research presents a training program that embraces the advantages of digital learning environments utilizing Transformative Learning as a pedagogical tool for the development of Emotional Intelligence in the tourism sector.
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