Skills for Tourism and Recognition of the Importance of Dark Skies

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.On the other hand light pollution has become an environmental problem affecting ecosystems, biodiversity and natural life behavior. In fact, powerful lighting causes problems to plants, animals and humans. The undisturbed view of the night sky and the experience of an intact night landscape has become rare due to unlimited and often excessive use of artificial light outdoors.

Project goals

The STARLIGHT project aims at increasing job opportunities for young Europeans with an education/training background in tourism and upskilling for already active touristic operators. Innovative sectors in line with market trends will be identified – specifically the promotion of dark skies as a competitive asset for sustainable and experiential tourismis a stated project goal.

In a broader context the project is raising awareness on the importance of reducing light pollution and the re-discovery of dark skies among tourist operators, public authorities and the general public.



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.

In a multidisciplinary approach the following activities will be carried out:

  • Development of a training material toolkit, which will be downloadable and easy-to-read.
  • Webinars based on the toolkit, which will be recorded and edited and can become an online lesson.
  • Three summer schools in various places, defining topics, methodologies, format and agenda to convey the necessary competences through a transnational work-based learning experience.


Expected Results

STARLIGHT is developing a qualification program – 60 participants from the tourism sector will be taught science-based aspects of astronomy, biodiversity, history and culture, and light pollution. Participants will be trained to develop an innovative offer, create experiences that appeal to tourists, and finally learn how to tell the story of our night sky and transform this intoa job opportunity. The results and experiences of the activities will be available beyond the project itself to further promote new skills, competences and knowledge in the context of dark skies for sustainable tourism.


Program: ERASMUS + – Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training

Project duration: 02/2022 – 02/2025

Project partner:

Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica/ Italy,
Gruppo Azione Locale Escartons eValli Valdesi s.r.l/ Italy,
Fundación Camino Lebaniego/ Spain,
Kultur und Arbeit e.V./Germany,
Rra Severne Primorske Regijska razvojna agencija d.o.o. Nova Gorica/ Slovenia,
National Business Development Network/ Bulgaria

Contact:          Stefanie Pontasch, PhD (0043 680 2078728, s.pontasch@tiroler-umweltanwaltschaft.gv.at)

Mag. Monique Hayek (0049 177 2069897, m.hayek@tiroler-umweltanwaltschaft.gv.at)




Skills for Tourism and Recognition of the Importance of Dark Skies


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