Southern Catalonia is a major player in the world of international tourism. The creation of the Costa Daurada and Terres de l'Ebre brands have converted the province of Tarragona into a leading tourist destination attracting millions of visitors from all over the world each year.

Tourism and leisure have become activities with far-reaching effects on the economic, regional and social reality of the region, and educational training is one of the factors that provides the sector with its competitive edge.

The Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia (CEICS) brings together all the ingredients needed to strengthen competitiveness in this field. Quality training and research groups who have been working on competitive projects for nearly twenty years are some of the mainstays of this region of knowledge.

Training in tourism

Vila-seca, one of the strategic municipalities on the Costa Daurada, accommodates much of the CEICS's tourism training, as well as research and innovation structures. The Faculty of Tourism and Geography is located there, where bachelor's programmes in tourism and geography and territorial management are taught. The Science Park of Tourism and Leisure is located right beside the Faculty and is a pioneer centre dedicated to knowledge transfer in the sector. The park houses the headquarters of the Costa Daurada Foundation for Tourism Studies.

The CEICS trains professionals who specialize in business management, mainly dealing with accommodation, and in tourist destination planning and management. Rovira i Virgili University offers bachelor's and postgraduate programmes (master's and doctorates) in tourism and has its own consolidated research groups.

Training for companies

Within the framework of the CEICS, training in tourism is concentrated at URV's Faculty of Tourism and Geography. The sector's top-level international companies have agreements with the university to train their middle and top level personnel. This is the case of PortAventura, which has the only collaboration agreement in Europe linking the theme park sector and the university environment. The URV offers the park's workers the possibility of gaining specific training in tourism and leisure. The purpose: to convert employees into professionally trained specialists in managing and directing leisure parks.

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