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Adventure Tourism Vocational Education and Training

A  multi-national project to develop education and training programmes to strengthen the skills base of young people and adults working in adventure tourism.

‘Higher education through continuing professional development’

ADVENT is a 3 year project beginning in September 2017 and continuing until 2020. The outcomes produced throughout this time will be available to all long after the project ends. We are partnered with 7 other institutions in Iceland, Finland and Scotland to produce a truly multinational resource available to a wide array of adventure tourism practitioners and students.

Through this project, we seek to close the gap between educational entities and the business community by providing vocational programmes to further business skills.

Background to the project

Tourism is a vital economic sector for many rural communities and adventure tourism in particular has grown rapidly in recent years. With this growth comes an increased need for skilled guides and other key employees. Many existing SMEs are facing novel challenges which they need to respond to though continuing education.

The aim of the project is to develop new initiatives in adventure tourism education that target both adult practitioners already working in adventure tourism businesses and young tourism students. Through this we hope to create positive relationships in vocational education and training for those in business and those seeking to be in business in this prosperous area.


The partners are located in three different countries; Iceland, Finland and Scotland. The transnational and cross sector nature of the partnerships are crucial to an open and informed dialogue between different sectors. This dialogue will allow the gap between academic and business entities to become smaller – providing a better overall experience.


  • FAS (Framhaldsskólinn í Austur-Skaftafellssÿslu) is an upper secondary school located in Höfn in Hornafjöður on the South-East coast of Iceland, close to the glacier Vatnajökull. FAS offers both online and in person courses in a variety of subjects and places an emphasis on connection to nature through field trips.
  • Visit Vatnajökull (Ríki Vatnajökuls) is a cluster responsible for developing regional tourism strategy in the Vatnajökull area. The shareholders come from a range of professions but all strive towards the common goal of building robust tourism in the region all year round based on the spectacular nature, food, and culture.
  • University of Iceland Hornafjöður Regional Research Centre (Haskoli Islands) is part of a network established by the University of Iceland in rural areas around the country. Its main activities concern research in environmental issues, culture and tourism. The centre’s activities in tourism have often been applied in nature and it has taken a proactive approach to tourism development in cooperation with local SMEs, DMOs and municipal government.


  • University of the Highlands and Islands West Highland College – School of Adventure Studies (SOAS) and Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) are located in Fort William, Lochaber. SOAS is the largest department in the college and brings higher and further education to the more rural areas of Scotland where adventure tourism is prevalent. CRTR has collaborated on numerous international projects and has strong links with academia and industry.
  • Lochaber Chamber of Commerce focuses on working for businesses in the Outdoor Capital of the UK and promoting the Lochaber area as a great place to live, work, study and visit. This is achieved through building business connections and connecting education and skills to the needs of a business.


  • Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (Kajaanin Ammattikoreakoulu) is an international university located in central Finland near the town of Kajaani. The university carries out Research, Development and Innovation services for numerous companies and education institutions and has worked with a large international cooperation network.
  • Kainuu Vocational College (Kainuun Ammattiopisto) operates mainly in the Kainuu and Koillismaa regions in Eastern Finland providing vocational training for young people and adults in a variety of subjects. The college is working to internationalise and give students the skills to operate in a multicultural and international business environment.
  • Naturpolis aims to promote profitable business and support job creation in the Kuusamo region of Finland. The organisation also works to promote regional, national and international cooperation. Nature tourism is an important business sector here and Naturpolis has lead and participated in numerous tourism projects and actively worked with many other organisations.

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