Independent learning in SMEs in the hotel and catering industry (HOTSME)

Funding information

Project duration: 03/2005 – 09/2007

Project code number: MT/04/B/F/PP173,000

Funding guideline: Programm für Lebenslanges Lernen – Leonardo da Vinci

Project concept

Initial situation

Companies in the tourism industry are increasingly realising that the interdisciplinary skills, especially the communication skills of their employees and managers, are a decisive competitive factor. Bonding with customers and a sensitivity to the values of guests are the prerequisites for professional skills to come to fruition. So far, this has been addressed too little in training and further education.

Target groups and their benefits

The HOTSME project is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), training service providers and professional associations in the tourism industry. In particular, it addresses employees and managers who are to improve their communication skills in customer relations.

Project goal

The HOTSME project aims to develop the competences, especially the generic competences, of managers and employees of small and medium-sized hotels in order to improve their service quality and consequently their competitiveness. For this purpose, the characteristics of the values and learning needs as well as current learning systems of tourism SMEs in the partner countries were analysed. Based on this, a modular learning concept was developed that encourages learners to engage in a continuous self-reflection process and transforms the performance of the respective activity into a learning situation. The theory inputs were combined with practical and workshop phases at the workplace. Another goal is to network the hotels of comparable size with training service providers and other supporters and thereby develop a continuous culture of quality and learning in the sector.

Role of ISOB

ISOB leads the internal evaluation and quality assurance in the project and supports the dissemination of the project materials.

Products and publications

  • Conducting a situation and needs analysis of learning systems in tourism
  • Development of a modular learning concept for continuous self-reflection and learning materials 
  • Development of a methodology and guide for training providers to support hotels 
  • Preparation of an evaluation and best practice report



  • Malta (project coordination): Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association
  • Malta: Malta Tourism Authority
  • Germany: LiM AG
  • Spain: Seville Municipal Tourist Board
  • Lithuania: Kaunas Technical University (KTU)
  • Denmark: Hotel & Catering College Copenhagen
  • Denmark: 3L Project
  • Portugal: Setubal Vocational School
  • Germany: Institut für sozialwissenschaftliche Beratung GmbH

The project was successfully completed and positively evaluated.

We will be happy to provide you with the project results on request. For further information, please contact our Team.