The WellTo project final conference
The Wellto project final conference took place on June 29, 2021. The event was held at Hotel Anel (Sofia, Bulgaria) with high interest from all stakeholders. All project partners, representatives of VET providers, business representatives, trainees, representatives of the social partners took part. The international partners and guests from the partner countries of the project took part online.
The final conference of the WellTo project
The final conference of the WellTo project will take place in Anel Hotel (Sofia, Bulgaria, 14 Todor Alexandrov blvd.) at 9AM (GMT +3; Sofia) and on-line via Zoom: 8 AM CET on 29th of June 2021. The project results and outputs will be presented by project partners.
Curriculum implementation training workshops
Partners organized two-days training on the joint AWC curriculum during the June, to ensure a successful implementation of the joint curriculum. Two days trainings were conducted under the approved Agenda by the WellTo partnership (on-line or on-site form). The participants trained on the joint AWC curriculum were representatives of tourism VET schools and representatives of tourism companies.
VET students' transnational mobility - Slovakia
Transnational mobility of VET secondary schools was organized and performed in an online form due to the Covid Pandemic situation and the National Regulations Slovakia had to follow.
As for Slovakia, students present at the school premises took part in the online lessons/mobilities that had been organized by partner schools, Latvia and Bulgaria via different platforms providing online meetings.
VET students’ transnational mobility - Latvia
The Latvian partner school implemented the national on-site mobility.
The prolongation of the project helped to develop the new form of the students´ mobility as the travelling seemed to be very difficult due to the pandemic. The new form combined on-site activities on national level and the on-line activities at international level. Latvian and Bulgarian partners´ schools implemented the national on-site mobility and Slovak and Slovenian students participated on these mobility on-line. Slovak and Slovenian partners´ schools also organized workshops as a part of the mobility where the representatives of the business were invited. The mobilities were organized during the May and June 2021.
The impact of Covid-19 in Slovakia
Hospitality and Tourism Sector is one of the most affected sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures to prevent the disease have been implemented and adopted with effect from the 16th March 2020. Throughout the so-called first wave all the hospitality services were mandatorily closed until the beginning of June. The worsening situation in Autumn called for significant restrictions again, which were put in place from mid- October until the end of the year. In January 2021, yet another lockdown was announced and all hospitality services had to be banned again.
As a result of the pandemic, the number of tourists was down by almost 50%, which translates into a decrease of more than 8 million overnight stays. It is expected that a similar decline will happen this year.
Wellness services are among the most restricted services as a result of the Covid-19 measures. They always are among the first services being banned and among the last being re-opened. It generally applies, that hospitality sector operators had to take measures beyond the scope of their regular duties, so that the health and safety of their employees and guests is secured.
Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions related to it have also negatively impacted the education and vocational training within the sector, especially when it comes to students acquiring their practical knowledge and skills at employers’ workplaces. We expect that the impact of the pandemic will also be reflected in a slight decline in interest to study at schools with focus on hospitality and tourism.
The influence of Covid-19 in Slovenia
THE INFLUENCE OF COVID-19 ON TOURISM
Tourism is one of the industries most affected by the coronavirus epidemic. The spring wave was followed by virtually complete closure of the country, public life came to a complete halt and with it most economic activities. Tourism was dormant for almost three months, starting to open its doors only in June 2020. But autumn came and with it the rapid growth of infections and the extraordinary deterioration of the epidemiological picture. Thus, on October 19, 2020, the government declared an epidemic for the entire country and introduced restrictive measures. This, of course, meant that tourism actors were again forced into closure. The closure lasted a long six months. It was not until April 26, 2021, that tourism actors were able to gradually begin to open their doors.
In May 2021, the epidemiological picture is improving day by day. Restrictive measures are being relaxed and many activities are being released. In the tourism industry are opening restaurants, hotels, spas, wellness centers, camps...
THE INFLUENCE OF COVID-19 ON EDUCATION
In the middle of March 2020, the entire Slovenian educational sphere moved from the school environment to the virtual-virtual environment. Classical instruction was no longer possible, practically over the weekend it was necessary to adapt and introduce distance education for more than 443,000 children, pupils and students. Distance learning was an extraordinary form of work and in fact an emergency solution, which lasted until mid-May 2020 and then continued in the current school year from mid-October to the end of February 2021, followed by a one-week exchange of students at the school until last week when all the students returned to school.
It turned out that school is much more than just education. In particular, distance learning is difficult to carry out practical lessons. In most cases, practical distance learning in tourism and catering programs took the form of researching online resources and making posters on a specific topic, promotional brochures, or similar products. Practical instruction in schools has resumed in limited form in smaller working groups from mid-April 2021 onwards.
During the distance learning, it was nevertheless possible to carry out practical training by working in companies that accepted students. But this does not apply to the field of tourism and catering, where companies were closed until the beginning of May 2021. Therefore, practical on-the-job training for students of these educational programs was completely dropped or we postponed them to the next school year.
The impact of Covid-19 in Latvia
Tourism is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia. The impact of the pandemic has led to a large reduction in tax revenues in the sector, as well as a significant increase in unemployment. When the coronavirus first appeared in Latvia the declaration of an emergency situation and travel restrictions completely paralyzed the sector. A similar situation was also in the second wave of Covid-19, which began last November. Wellness and SPA services remain limited in the country. Vocational education institutions have to adapt to the changes. Both at the end of last school year and the beginning of this school year, several vocational education institutions rescheduled the learning process so that students could implement work-based learning in companies. Apprenticeships were organized remotely and on-site. Companies developed methodological materials and assignments to allow students to implement training partly remotely and to assess videos sent by students. With the increase in vaccination rates, it is expected that the situation in the sector will gradually improve and businesses will be able to resume their normal work.
Current situation with Corona virus (Covid 19) in Bulgaria
The percentage of patients with corona virus in Bulgaria decreases. The ban on conducting face-to-face training in higher education institutions is lifted on 19 May so attendance training at universities is being restored. From May 31, the present learning process of all students is allowed according to order № RD-01-355 / 18.05.2021 issued by the Minister of Health. From the same date it is allowed to conduct in the presence of group extracurricular activities and activities, activities of interest, activities and others, organized in school and extracurricular environment. Sports competitions are held when occupying no more than 50% of the seats for the public and observing a physical distance of at least 1.5 m, as well as wearing protective face masks.
According to tourism Bulgaria takes all necessary measures for the highest security so that guests feel protected and safe during their stay in Bulgaria. And the observance of the sanitary-hygienic prescriptions is one of the key conditions for our country to keep the green stamp for safety and hygiene (Safety and hygiene travel stamp), issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Tourists can enter the country in three ways:
- Through a document for completed vaccination scheme against COVID-19.
- By a document showing a positive result from a polymerase chain reaction test or a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 - for persons suffering from COVID-19 for the period from the 15th to the 180th day from the date of the study, entered in the document.
- By a document showing a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction test performed up to 72 hours before entry into the country or a negative result from a rapid antigen test performed up to 48 hours before entry into the country to detect COVID-19, as of the date of the test, entered in the document.