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PREIT-tour of the Universidad de Cuenca wins the ICP Connect call of the VLIRUOS Program

We are excited to announce that the PREIT-tour research group from the University of Cuenca has been selected as the winner of the prestigious and competitive international ICP Connect call of the VLIRUOS program, driven by the Government of Belgium. The participation was made in collaboration with VIVES University (Belgium) as coordinators, Quy Nhon University (Vietnam), Makerere University Business School (Uganda), and our esteemed Universidad de Cuenca (Ecuador) as local partners.

The project, titled "Beyond the Souvenir: A Multi-Regional Project for Authentic and Sustainable Hospitality Education," will be developed over six years, from September 1, 2024, to August 31, 2030, with an approximate budget of €700,000. This achievement represents a significant milestone for our institution and the entire global academic community (Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America). The primary goal is to drive transformative change by addressing sustainable tourism challenges through strengthening educational capacities and performance, aligning with the needs of regional communities and the tourism industry.

Benefits for Our Faculty and Students

The impact of this project will be profound and lasting, directly benefiting our faculty and students. Below, we highlight some of the most significant benefits:

  1. Scholarships for Training in Belgium: Our students will have the opportunity to receive scholarships for training in Belgium, allowing them to acquire advanced knowledge and international experiences that will enrich their academic and professional formation.

  2. Development of Technological Careers: The project will promote the development of technological careers within our faculty, preparing our students to face modern world challenges with cutting-edge skills and competencies.

  3. Hub of Latin America: The University of Cuenca will become the hub of Latin America in the field of innovation and knowledge transfer, strengthening our academic networks and international collaborations.

Moreover, the project includes staff mobility, collaborative course development, and the creation of alumni and stakeholder networks. It promotes inclusive education, fosters regional and global collaboration, and establishes resilient educational infrastructure with investments in practical labs.

By integrating sustainability principles into education and practice, the project seeks to minimize environmental impact and maximize social and economic benefits. Through the promotion of innovation, knowledge exchange, and sector resilience, we aim to shape responsible global citizens who can drive positive change in the hospitality industry while respecting our planet and its people.

This achievement is the result of the effort and commitment of the entire PREIT-tour team, as well as the constant support of the Vice-Rectorate for Research and Innovation of our university. We also acknowledge the ongoing support from our colleagues at the Division of Geography and Tourism at KU Leuven and, recently, from the colleagues at VIVES. We are confident that this project will mark a before and after in our trajectory and will open new doors for the growth and development of our faculty and students.

Thank you to all those involved, which are many, for this remarkable achievement! We continue to move forward with a firm step towards a future full of innovation and academic excellence.

Image credits: PREIT-tour & VIVES

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