MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DOT) is currently working on the establishment of the Philippine Tourism Academy, a tourism school that will provide entry level courses in the tourism hospitality industry to make up for the human resources that the Philippines is losing from the the other countries.
This was announced during the recent First General Meeting of the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa).“We are pushing through with this school because we may be running out of hospitality staff because everybody going to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. We don’t want that to happen. We are positive that before 2016, we’ll meet the demand of our neighbor countries in the hospitality business,” said Philtoa president Cesar Cruz.
DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. noted that if the country is firm in reaching its 10 million visitor arrival target for 2016, the whole tourism unit, not just the hotels and resorts, should be able to deliver on the promise that it is truly more fun in the Philippines.
“In the tourism business, it is one thing to create demand; it’s another thing to release it. And our job is to begin to knock down all the things that obstruct the release of the demand we built. To achieve that, the government and the private sector must focus on the elements of connectivity, infrastructure, visa facilities, peace and order and product quality,” Jimenez said.
As the world perception of the Philippines continues to improve, Jimenez said that more work should be done for market development.
“It is imperative that we expand our reach also to new users, other opportunity markets, the fastest growing markets like Norway, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Israel, and countries in the Middle East. These are the markets where the demand is yet to be made. It is not an easy task for us but we have to be more imaginative, bolder and braver. That is how the Philippines shall change the game.