Examples of what we have been doing

HCTurismHuman Capital Profile and Trends in the Tourism Sector


This study focuses on national companies whose economic activity belongs to the tourism sector, following the definition used by Banco de Portugal, dividing the sample companies into three sub-segments, namely the sub-segment of the “Hotels and Restaurants”, the subsegment of “Transports and Logistics” and, lastly, the subsegment of “Recreational and Cultural Activities”.

With its results, it is expected to obtain essential outputs for the planning of the higher education of tourism, stimulating the convergence of the educational offer according to the real needs of the market, allowing a better and rapid inclusion of the students in the labor market as well as increasing their level of qualifications.

The study was developed using the new information and communication technologies, allowing the creation of this digital platform that can be used, in an integrated manner by all its participants, including all entities belonging to the value chain of Tourism sector, fostering the links between companies, public administration and teaching activities in order to achieve the expected results, namely the promotion of the brand Portugal as a strong tourist destination, distinguished and qualified on a global scale.



Within the scope of the applied projects and the works developed to the community, they include teams of multidisciplinary and various elements, including researchers, specialists, technicians and students, from the IPCA Higher School of Hotel and Tourism, as well as from other institutions, namely national Public Higher Education, public and private companies and public entities responsible for the management and tourism promotion of the regional tourism area.


This work was supported by European Investment Funds by FEDER funds through COMPETE 2020 under the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-023622 and National Funds by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the project SAICT-POL/23622/2016.



Comparing the results of the global scales obtained, we can observe that the best average score belongs to the scale soft skills (CC), followed by the management skills (CG), transversal skills (CTR) and, lastly the hard skills.

The results reflect what the authors consulted in the literature review, specifically that the global changes felt in the economy changed the behaviour of the consumers, being more and more necessary a focus on the workers?? soft skills since these allow a better satisfaction of the clients?? expectations as well as better answers to the market needs since they allow better adaptation to the changes that companies live every day.

Soft skills

As far as soft skills are concerned, the Portuguese tourism workers should have skills that allow them a greater and faster adaptation to the organizational changes, namely: i) skills of “organizational citizenship”, allowing workers to go beyond what is expectable and also have altruistic behaviours that contribute to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization; as well as ii) skills of “transformational leadership”, which allow them to have a vision oriented towards innovation and change where, through motivation and leading by example, improves the performance and the behaviour of the work team.

Hard skills

With respect to the hard skill, the most valued ones are those that allow the worker to have a general view of the functioning of the business and contribute to the increase of productivity of the company, particularly: i) skills of “commercial management” that allow a deep knowledge of the market behaviour besides skills that contribute to an efficiency resource management and greater customer satisfaction, ii) “tourist animation??? skills that allow to respond to the evolution of the behaviour of the consumers that seek more and more for unique experiences and greater added value in them, and also iii) skills of “ethics and professional deontology” that enable the development of positive behaviours and attitudes in professional relationships, contributing, this way, to the creation of a harmonious professional environment.

Management skills

Regarding to the management skills, the ones that were most highlighted by the entrepreneurs were those related to the capacity of taking strategic decisions as well as the ability to influence the team in order to optimize the overall performance of the organization, specifically: i) “leadership” skills that allow to influence in a positive way the overall behaviours and mentalities of the team, in a formal or informal way, to achieve and pursue the common objectives of the organization, as well as ii) skills of “strategic management” that enables better decisions that lead to a better optimization of the processes and resources of the organizations.

Transversal skills

Lastly, the “transversal skills” to which entrepreneurs gave a greater importance were those that allow a greater and better digital communication of their business, especially i) “E-business” skills that allow the application and creation of digital systems that enable a better management, promotion and revenue of the products or services commercialized by the companies and grant a better presence and notoriety of the company image in the various existing digital channels and ii) skills of “foreign languages” that allow the correct oral and written communication in foreign languages in the principal Portuguese inbound tourism markets.



In this project, the methodology used is based on a profound review of the literature and in a quantitative approach through the collection of primary and secondary data. The review of the literature approach was based on addressing theoretical concepts such as tourism, the management and qualification of human resources, as well as the review of the skills used in similar studies of diverse scientific perspectives such as: marketing, management, tourism and hospitality. The analysis of these documents was intended to analyze and compile the skills that were used in the studies related to the project theme and that would serve as a basis for the items to be implemented in the survey, allowing us to elaborate a first draft with 150 different skills, divided into four domains, namely: i) soft skills, ii) hard skills, iii) management skills and iv) transversal skills. This document was subsequently reviewed by a set of experts from various areas, including the tourism area, and after the inclusion of their suggestions, the final version was created, containing the same four dimensions and 92 skills in total.

The quantitative approach returned primary data, which were collected through an online survey implemented and sent by email to national tourist entrepreneurs, accessible in an online professional platform and whose main objective was to measure, in a general way, what skills were most valued in the workers of the tourism sector by the tourism entrepreneurs.

The instrument and the collected data were submitted to analysis of the content as well as to a validation of the reliability and construct using a statistical software treatment.