THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 said it will conduct a massive information campaign to make Asean 2015 integration known
among tourism stakeholders.
“Physically, yes, I believe our players are ready for the integration,” said DOT director Rowena Montecillo in a phone interview. But she said her office still needs to conduct trainings and information campaign to boost awareness about the integration.
The Philippines, according to reports, expects to get a 7.7 percent share or 8.2 million of the projected 107 million tourists visiting Asean nations by 2015.
Given the projection, Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Hans Hauri said the country, specifically Cebu, needs to drum up efforts to
improve its standards and the quality of its tourism workforce.
AEC’s goal for 2015 is to transform the Asean into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor as well as flow of capital.
While the skilled labor flow would present opportunities to improve industries and the economies of the member-states, Hauri said the downside is the risk of brain drain. He stressed the need for a managed flow of talent in order to prevent vacancies.
Hauri said it is also a must for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) to come up with and observe unified standards when hiring workers, specifically in the hospitality industry.
“Employers in the Asean region should observe uniform standards and qualification particularly in the human resource aspect, otherwise, there would be countries that will be left behind without such unified regulations,” Hauri said.
To ensure the country’s competitive edge particularly in human resource, Hauri suggests the academe should also come up with a uniform curriculum for the Hotel and Restaurant Management course.
“We have to invest in our people, given that the movement of skilled workers will depend on a nation’s strengths,” he said.
Hauri said the country’s hospitality industry has already made some improvements in preparation for the unified market, such is the adoption of new classification standards by all DOT-accredited hotels in the country.
He said the new ratings, which are aligned with international standards, give hotel guests the confidence in the delivery of services.
The passage of the bill of rights for air passengers is also a new development. This regulation, Hauri said, builds trust among the riding public. “Travel is nothing else but trust.”
In one of their meetings , Hauri said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez told them that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) will acquire a brand new radar system in order to accommodate many flight events per hour.
“We have seen tremendous changes since the Aquino administration and with efforts cooking up in the government level in preparation for the unified market, efforts of the private sector will follow suit,” said Hauri.