El turismo comunitario, a debate en el Santuario San Pedro Claver de Colombia


turismo comunitarioEl 25 de febrero tuvo lugar el primer Conversatorio Virtual organizado por el Santuario San Pedro Claver de Cartagena (Colombia) sobre turismo comunitario. En él participaron Esther Binkhorst, Jorge Peralta y Jordi Ficapal, profesores de la Facultad de Turismo y Dirección Hotelera Sant Ignasi (HTSI). 

Este evento nace de la colaboración de HTSI y el Santuario en la realización del Study Trip a Colombia para los estudiantes del Grado en Turismo (este año suspendido por la pandemia de la Covid-19).

“Turismo comunitario: una alternativa socioeducativa” fue el título elegido para mostrar a la comunidad de Cartagena de Indias como el turismo puede ser una oportunidad positiva para el desarrollo de las comunidades y una alternativa al turismo de masas. 

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#8M2021. Women’s Day



In recent years, special attention has been paid to the importance of having tools and  mechanisms to achieve full equality between women and men, and to eradicate any form of  sexist violence, be it physical, psychological or sexual. 

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (Universitat Ramon Llull) is  strongly against any discriminatory, abusive or offensive conduct or attitude and undertakes  to ensure that the university community can develop and interact in safe spaces and free  situations of harassment and violence, guaranteeing the principles of dignity and freedom, as  well as ensuring the health and well-being of people. 

HTSI, in compliance with current legislation and regulations and in line with its firm  commitment to gender equality, has a Prevention and Action Protocol to combat Gender  Violence prepared by the Ramon Llull University (URL) with two main objectives: act as a  prevention tool and provide mechanisms and guidelines for action in the event of detection of  situations of sexual harassment, based on sex, sexual orientation or gender expression.

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HTSI is the 2nd-best place in Spain to study Tourism and Hospitality


subjectwur-coverOnce again, the QS World University Ranking by Subjects has named the Bachelor’s Program in Tourism at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL) 2nd-best in Spain and 49th worldwide for hospitality and leisure management. For the second year in a row, HTSI has been named the 2nd-best university in Spain to study tourism.

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Using co-creation to improve tourist experiences—even during a pandemic



We interviewed Dr Ester Binkhorst, an HTSI professor and expert in co-creation. We discussed design, innovation and co-creating experiences. Binkhorst participated as a lecturer in the seminar “Creación de Experiencias Turísticas” (Creation of Tourism Experiences), organized by the Chair of Domestic Tourism at the University of Jaén. Let’s see what she had to say.

 How can you generate emotions at a tourist destination?

In marketing, we use the word “experience” to generate emotions using our senses. In reality, what we’re offering is a product or service. But once the user begins to consume it, to live it, it becomes an experience.

Nevertheless, we can neither dominate nor control whether the tourist will enjoy it. We can provide them with products and services that improve their experience and encourage that emotional involvement, however.


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E. Pigem: “Enjoy every moment of your studies and learn from your experiences”


eva-pigem-1We spoke to HTSI alumnus Eva Pigem. She has broad international experience in managing luxury hotels, but the pandemic brought her home to Barcelona. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism (2014) and is currently benefitting from IMPETU, a program for women from the tourism sector who are unemployed because of the pandemic. This is her story.

Right now, you’re benefitting from the IMPETU project (Impact of the Pandemic on Tourism in Spain: Implications in the Employment of Women in a Female Sector). What is it? 

It’s an 8-hour, online training program to empower us and help us find new opportunities. It also includes a mentorship with over 50 professionals who are specialized in different sectors; they help us develop new skills so we can jump back into the job market. The project is designed to help 50 unemployed young women.

Who’s behind it? 

Helsinki España: an organization founded in 1992 to fight for education in human rights.

How will it affect the lives of women in the tourism sector?

The goal of the project is to reduce female unemployment in the sector. The pandemic has left its mark: it may affect up to 21% of graduates. This allows us to start over.

We’ll have to speak again once I finish, but I think this is an opportunity to look ahead, improve our skills and abilities while looking for employment, and create a connection between mentors and participants on a human scale.

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HTSI offers Thai students a course on ecotourism



The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi has launched the first edition of “Community Based Eco-Tourism”, an online course commissioned by Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) and attended by 21 students from Thailand.

In this interview, Esther Binkhorst, coordinator of the training project in ecotourism, tells us about the keys to the course and its context.

What is Jesuit Worldwide Learning and how has it worked with HTSI? 

JWL is an international Jesuit organization that provides “Higher Education at the Margins’’; in other words, training for individuals and communities who are marginalized because of poverty, their location, a lack of opportunities, conflicts or forced displacement. HTSI coordinated and taught a course on ecotourism for Thai students.

What challenges did you face?

A project of these dimensions always involves plenty of challenges. For example, developing a collaborative course: creating the content with six different authors from HTSI and coordinating it with JWL and students from the pilot group in Thailand. Creating the contents for an online course wasn’t easy, either.

Plus, this course is part of the program “Higher Education at the Margins”; that means that access to the internet and sources of information like books or articles isn’t easy.

Another communicative and cultural challenge is understanding and interpreting the way Thai students express themselves. It’s hard enough to understand local students, but this requires even more intercultural skills.

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The Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism achieves more than 90% job insertion



93% of 2016 graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management are currently employed. This is according to “Job insertion of 2020 graduates”, a survey conducted by the AQU—the agency in charge of monitoring the quality of Catalonia’s university system. 

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL) also obtained a 7.1–a higher score than all other universities—in the quality of employment index, or IQO. This index measures how appropriate jobs are to what students studied.

The IQO uses four indicators: contract, job satisfaction, retribution and adequacy. The higher the index, the better the job quality; this means that the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism is the has the highest adequacy of all bachelor’s programs in tourism offered in Catalonia.

Nearly 83% of alumni from the class of 2016 found their first job less than 3 months after graduating. 92.9% work full time, while 73.1% earn more than €2,000 a month. As a result, HTSI is once again the tourism school with the highest average salary.

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The Rise of Design Thinking in Meetings and Events



Today, anyone organizing innovative events needs fluid yet well-structured creative processes based on design thinking. These processes give priority to the needs of the end user, interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of prototypes and testing.

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Albert Orellana, director of Revenue Management at Iberostar Mexico: “Studying at HTSI makes you stand out as a professional”



We spoke with Albert Orellana, HTSI alumnus and director of Revenue Management at Iberostar Mexico, about the School’s studies programs.

Tell us about your career. How did you come to be the head of Revenue Management for Iberostar in Mexico? Where did you start?

I started working at reception for a hotel in the NH Hotel Group. I spent over three years with them. Next, I moved to Belgium to serve as the front office agent at Brussels Marriott International.

…And then you decided to come back to Barcelona.

Yes. First I was promoted to reception supervisor, and then I switched to Revenue Management. Next, I transferred to another Marriot hotel: Dénia Marriott La Sella Golf Resort & Spa.


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The ICT Tourism sector needs augmented professionals


talento-y-turismoHTSI vice-dean, researcher and professor Albert Fornells participated in the webinar “El futuro del talento en TIC Turismo” (The future of talent in ICT Tourism). This webinar was part of the Plan for the Revitalization of the ICT Tourism Cluster, an initiative of the Catalan Government’s Direcció General de Turisme i Acció that aims to create a new cluster in the Travel Tech sector in 2021.

Catalonia’s ICT Tourism sector is made up of 371 companies, most of which are SMEs (76%). They employ 9,100 individuals and earn over €1,000 million.

The evolution of the tourism and hospitality industry and perspectives for digital transformation in the short and long term drive the need for an in-depth look at how students should be trained. “We need to think about the skills students will be expected to have in both the tourism sector and other more far-reaching sectors that share synergies”, noted Fornells.

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