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PIA Press Release

Tourism players to converge for MTTE 2008

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (3 July) -- Owners, school operators and tourism industry players of Mindanao together with the government officials of the education sector will converge in Davao City next month in time for the 3rd Mindanao Travel and Tour Expo (MTTE 2008) to reconcile needs of both camps for the benefit of the students who will later seek employment.

Joji Ilagan Bian, chair of the Mindanao Technical Vocational Education and Training Association and president of the Joji Ilagan Career Centre Foundation, Inc. said at the Club 888 Forum of The Marco Polo Hotel that the MTTE offers opportunities to over 300 school operators in the island find out the kind of skills tourism industry players would need.

She said these educational institutions are offering tourism and hospitality courses and it is high time that they should know what are the appropriate qualities of graduates the industry are looking from the jobseekers by interacting face-to-face with the industry players.

The academe must now align their educational system to the requirement of the industry, she said.

The MTTE 2008, the biggest tourism assembly, will be held on August 8-10, 2008 at the Event Centre of SM City Davao.

The exhibit will gather hundreds of tour operators, travel agencies, transport groups, hotels, restaurants, resort, destinations and adventures and other tourism stakeholders during the three-day exposition.

Several regional offices of the Department of Tourism (nationwide), local government units in Mindanao and the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PhilTOA) will also be participating.

Part of the event is a one-day Jobs Fair and learning tracks session.

Bian said the track session will have noted speakers on various topics on Tour Guiding, Marketing and Promotion of Hotels and Resorts, International Hospitality and Opportunities in Wellness Tourism.

Bian noted that there are about half a million students in Mindanao as potential clients and focusing on human resource the time is right that the industry and the academe establish partnership.

"We have not been doing this before and it is a good thing this is now happening," she said.

Bian said job opportunities of this sort are high in the global market and students must improve on their skills because outside of the Philippines jobs in line with hospitality have stringent requirements.

But as far as the government is concerned, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is issuing the National Certificate II (NC II) and one is given such certificate upon meeting competencies for two years.

The NC II is a requirement for jobs placement abroad for commercial cooks, bar tender, chambermaids, waiters and other related jobs.

She said it is now time for the tourism sector here to also look at NC II as a requirement before hiring one.

"NC II is voluntary but when the tourism industry here would require, prospective workers would comply," she said.

She said this is another way of pushing our workers to improve more and the industry to set higher standards of their workers.

"A satisfied tourist because of the services they get in tourism establishments will not only become a regular visitor here but also opening doors for others to come," she said.

Bian said this will happen only when our frontliners effectively and efficiently deliver their service in accordance with international standards. (PIA) [top]

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