03/10/2022 The second part of the existing situation study consisted of two (2) field surveys. The Hellenic Mediterranean University(HMU) successfully completed the field surveys and the analysis of their results. The field survey sample consisted of two categories that responded to different questionnaires regarding their views on Educational Tourism in Crete. The first category consisted of young people aged 18-25 years old and the second category consisted of tourism professionals and educators. Participants were reached through digital means, such as email and through multiple social media.
Two questionnaires were used to conduct the field research to explore the views of young people and tourism professionals and teachers on Educational Tourism. The questionnaires were created and distributed electronically to students, youth clubs and sports clubs. Regarding the questionnaires of tourism professionals and teachers, the questionnaires were sent to faculty members of the Hellenic Mediterranean University (ELMEPA), the Department of Tourism of the University and other contacts of ELMEPA. The minimum number of questionnaires to be collected was 50 young people and 30 tourism professionals and teachers.
The findings of the survey firstly report the views of the young people and tourism educators and professionals on their familiarity, participation in Educational Tourism activities and their tourism habits.
Participants also identify the challenges that need to be taken into account in planning such activities, and there seems to be a consensus in the views of young people, educators and tourism professionals.
At the same time, participants in both categories seem to agree on the characteristics of the Educational Tourism product relating to cost and accessibility. Time duration, thematic subject matter, but also the use of new technologies and the possibility of obtaining a certificate also play a very important role. Young people also want a product that includes digital applications and live tours. On the other hand, teachers want a combination of formal and non-formal education.
Crete stands out as an Educational Tourism destination mainly because of its rich history and archaeology and its natural environment according to the opinions of both young people and professionals. The points of Crete highlighted by the participants should be included in the creation of the Educational Tourism product. Furthermore, tourism professionals, teachers and local authorities should be actively involved in the planning of Educational Tourism activities.
The EduTourism project is implemented in the framework of the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme “Greece – Cyprus 2014-2020” and is co-financed by the European Union (E.T.P.A.) and National Funds of Greece and Cyprus.