Tourism group moves to prepare PH for Asean integration | Inquirer Business

Tourism group moves to prepare PH for Asean integration

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 09:53 PM December 19, 2013

The Tourism Congress, a private sector consultative body, is pushing measures that will address skills-job mismatch in the industry and capacitate small- and medium-scale players to prepare the local tourism sector for the Asean economic integration in 2015.

In a statement, newly elected Tourism Congress president Rosanna Tuason-Fores said the country must increase its preparedness as the region would become a single market in less than two years.

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“The jobs-skills mismatch should be addressed and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism industry should be more involved,” she said. “The country should also be able to keep up with the rising demand for rooms due to the increase in tourist arrivals. The quality and standards that we offer tourists should be at par with their expectations.”

Tuason-Fores said the Tourism Congress, Department of Tourism, Department of Education and the Philippine Business for Education would be looking at measures to standardize and narrow the gap between college and university offerings and identify the specific skills needed by the  tourism industry.

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In the meantime, Tuason-Fores lauded the DOT for implementing the Asean Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals, which provided the foundation for the certification of skills and qualifications of tourism professionals from the Asean’s 10-member countries.

“Once we have skilled graduates who have the certification required, they can compete with others for tourism jobs not just in the country but within the region,” Tuason-Fores said.

Also, she said that the group was looking at communities in select tourism destinations in the country and assess how SMEs were faring.

Such measures and programs are expected to help the Philippines compete for tourist arrivals with its regional neighbors. The target is to post more than six million tourist arrivals next year from 10 different geographical markets.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. was quoted in the statement as saying that the Tourism Congress should be a prime mover in the country’s tourism industry especially now with Southeast Asian tourism growing at a rapid pace.

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TAGS: Asean integration, Business, job-skills mismatch, Philippines, Tourism, Tourism Congress
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