THE Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) will launch the Philtoa Tourism Academy this month so as to contribute towards the creation of trained workers for the hospitality and travel services industry.
Philtoa president, Cesar Cruz, said that the academy’s curriculum is still being developed but that it would offer entry-level courses to meet industry requirements in areas of hotel services such as housekeeping, F&B and front desk services. It would also eventually extend courses to cover travel services including passenger handling, community guiding, etc.
He shared: “We will inventory the requirements of the industry.”
Modules and courses at the academy will help train “graduating students who cannot find work because their skills are not compatible with the requirements of the industry”, said Cruz.
Local government units that have small tourism establishments and cannot afford to hire consultants or trainers for their entry-level workforce can also benefit from the academy’s non-regular courses.
The non-profit institution will be backed by accreditation from the Philippine’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. A 140m2 space in Philtoa’s Makati City office, currently under construction, is to play home to the facility.
Cruz observed that many Filipino tourism professionals were recruited to work abroad after being trained and gaining experience locally.
“Our worry is that with the free flow of tourism professionals in ASEAN when regional integration takes place in 2015, more Filipino professionals will work in neighbouring countries (rather than remaining in the country). What will happen to travel agencies? We will lose a lot of good people.”