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Bid to improve ASEAN standards gains ground
Mimi Hudoyo, Langkawi

Mimi Hudoyo, Langkawi  
(25th Jan 2005)

INDONESIA Hotels and Restaurants Association (IHRA) is offering its US$1 million competency standard developed for seven years to ASEAN for free in a bid to speed up improvements of standards in the region.

This is being offered to the ASEAN Hotels & Restaurants Association (AHRA) to apply within the ASEAN countries.

Indonesia is the project leader on this. IHRA chairman Ms Yanti Sukamdani Hardjoprakoso, said: “Rather than creating a new standard for ASEAN, why don't we just use the one that is available and tested.”

IHRA's competency standard has been endorsed as the Indonesia Professional Certification Standard on Tourism (LSPPar), which applies to other sectors such as travel agency, catering, convention organising and spa. It has been in use for four years now.

“The certificate issued by the LSPPar and approved by the Department of Labour is valid around Indonesia. Later when the National Board of Professional Standard which is endorsed by the World Trade Organization is set up, it is the LSPPar that they will use. This will mean that our standard will be acknowledged and used among the WTO members,” she said.

Agreements with associations in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Australia and Iran enable IHRA competency standard certificate holders to train or work in these countries, according to Ms Sukamdani.

Meanwhile, on the NTO side, the ASEAN taskforce on manpower is getting Australian Aid (AusAid) to develop an ASEAN Common Competency Standard for tourism professionals via the Australia ASEAN Development Co-operation Programme.

The team is to visit the 10 ASEAN countries next month to collect data. It will then come up with standards for hotels and agents, which will be presented to member countries for approval, according to taskforce chairman, Mr I Gusti Putu Laksaguna.

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