STARLIGHT (Skills for Tourism And Recognition of the importanza of dark skies) is a project funded by the Erasmus+ program.
STARLIGHT project aims at increasing job opportunities for young Europeans (18-30) with an education/training background in tourism and upskilling for already active touristic operators, identifying innovative sectors in line with market trends and specifically the promotion of dark skies as a competitive asset for sustainable and experiential tourism.
Despite Europe remains the n°1 tourism destination in the world, European tourism is confronted with many challenges, starting with the need to constantly innovate and improve quality. The sector must quickly adapt to the digital revolution and develop new attractive products in a sustainable manner for local communities and the environment. New skills, competences and knowledge will be needed, both for young professionals and for experienced operators.
STARLIGHT will involve 60 young participants to learn scientific notions on astronomy, biodiversity, history and culture, light pollution. They will be trained to create an innovative business, build experience boxes to be offered to tourists and finally learn how to tell the story of our skies and transform this into a job opportunity.
The partnership covers six European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Spain) and encompasses various competences such as astronomy, nature preservation, cultural heritage, local development and sustainable tourism.
The partners met in Innsbruck, Austria from 7th to 8th of June for the Kick-Off, hosted by the Tyrolean Environmental Ombudsoffice. The event laid the foundation for the development and implementation of training opportunities on “Dark Skies” over the next 2,5 years. “The inter-disciplinary expertise of our partnership is the key for creating well-balanced educational tools on this broad topic” the host is convinced.
Side events, such as a tour through the Alpine Zoo and a pulse by the Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe AG allowed glimpses into nocturnal wild life and efforts for diligent use of artificial light in cities.
In the next months, the partnership will work on Project Result 1, the training material Toolkit that will set up a comprehensive knowledge base to be used as learning material.
(*) Lead Partner