Tourism courses need updating, service excellence ethos: Joseph

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Monday, June 2, 2014


IMPLEMENTING a standard curriculum for all tourism-related courses with the involvement of the private sector is “an essential reform” to bring the Philippines at par with its Southeast Asian neighbors in producing top-quality tourism professionals, an official said.

Tourism advocate Robert Lim Joseph urged the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) to review the curriculum of all tourism-related courses and implement the necessary upgrades. He noted that the current plight of tourism graduates working as waitresses, cashiers and housekeepers indicates a job mismatch.

“We want our graduates to land in better job positions. We are always talking about integration and the capability of our workforce to land jobs in other Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries but how can they do that if the foundation is weak?” said Joseph, president of the Network of Independent Travel Agencies.

Needs to evolve

He said the current curriculum is no longer applicable to the fast evolving industry of tourism, and that the public and private tourism stakeholders shouldn’t neglect one of the important facets of tourism: the workforce.

“More than the tourism products, we also need to develop our tourism professionals as they are at the frontline,” he said.

Joseph, who is also the founder of the League of Tourism Students in the Philippines and the Tourism Association of Educators and Movers (Team Philippines), said there is a need to review and revamp the technical working group in Ched and appoint people with industry experience.

Go beyond theories

“Most teachers in tourism and hospitality courses have not been employed by tourism entities. They’re living in the world of theories,” said Joseph.

“What we want for our students is for them to have a strong basic education. Schools need to collaborate with the private sector, so the latter can transfer not only the skills but values,” he added.

Joseph said he sees the free flow of professionals within the Asean region as a threat to Filipino tourism workers, should there be no developments in the quality of graduates the country produces every year.

“Even if we have a caring heart, what is there to be taught is service excellence. We need to bring out the best of our tourism workforce,” he said. (KOC)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 03, 2014.

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