The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is taking steps to develop tourism professionals in preparation for the arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community.
The move comes after ASEAN Member States have signed the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals, which is one of the key ASEAN tourism initiatives to support the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
The purposes of this MRA mechanism are to facilitate mobility of tourism professionals within ASEAN and improve the quality of services delivered by tourism professionals.
Three components have been set up as part of the MRA mechanism in respective ASEAN Member States. They include the National Tourism Professional Board, the Tourism Professionals Certification Board, and the ASEAN Tourism Professionals Monitoring Committee.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is also working out an ASEAN tourism course to develop tourism workforce. The course is divided into two divisions: hotel division and travel division. There are 32 job titles, ranging from front office, housekeeping, food production, and food and beverage for the hotel division, to travel business and travel business management for travel division.
When completed, the course will be submitted to the Tourism Professional Certification Board for approval.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has also set up six working groups to assess competency standards for tourism professionals involved with front office, housekeeping, food production, food and beverage, travel business, and travel business management. The private sector has been urged to help develop tourism professionals, as well.
The Department of Tourism, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, also plans to organize training for tour guides to provide them with knowledge about neighboring countries and the ASEAN Community. The training will also include the teaching of ASEAN languages, aimed at producing high-qualified tourism professionals.