Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2,000 tourism jobs for Brunei by 2015

Brunei Tourism to identify competency gaps to deliver quality services

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The country’s Tourism Masterplan set its strategic direction towards achieving 50 per cent increase in the number of visitors and tourism revenue. The implementation of the masterplan is also expected to create avenues to increase direct and indirect employment opportunities for more than 2,000 people by 2015, Borneo Bulletin reported.

Mariani Hj Sabtu, Acting Director of Tourism Development Department, said this during the opening ceremony of a workshop called “GAP Analysis on Implementation of Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals and Feasibility Study for the Establishment of a Regional Secretariat for Asean Tourism Professionals”, at the Radisson Hotel yesterday.

“Looking at these impressive figures and forecasts (of the masterplan), lam sure it impressed upon all of us the need to prepare ourselves now to be able to host visitors to our country to make sure that they will take home wonderful memories and experiences vacationing here.

“We therefore need to ask ourselves whether we have the capacity to deliver consistent quality of services to international visitors and even our very own domestic and regional travellers.

“More importantly, are our services consistent with the reasonable expectations of the average traveller?” she asked.

“Are our tourism service providers properly trained? And to what standards of competency should they be trained? And which standards are we going to follow or adopt?” she queried.

“I think these are the fundamental questions and issues that the Asean Mutual Recognition Agreement on Tourism, which was signed in 2009 by Asean Tourism Ministers in Hanoi, Vietnam, needs to be comfortable with. The same goes for Brunei Darussalam,” she said.

Speaking about the workshop, Mariani said both the GAP Analysis on Implementation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement and the Feasibility Study for the establishment of a Regional Secretariat for Asean tourism professionals are follow-up programmes serving towards achieving those same goals set in the MRA implementation by identifying the required minimum industry standards pertaining to tourism professionals.

She said the MRA focuses in six major groups of travel services, namely: Housekeeping, Food Production, Food and Beverages Services, Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

Since its adoption, Mariani said several projects have been completed, such as Asean Common Competency Standards for Tourism Professionals (ACCSTP), Common Aseri Tourism Curriculum (CATC) and Regional Qualification Framework and Skills Recognition System (RQFSRS).

Mariani said Brunei places great importance in the development of high quality services, competency and professionalism in our tourism and hospitality service sectors.

“We have established collaboration and cooperation among government and private institutions,” she said.

She also took the opportunity to express Brunei Tourism’s appreciation and gratitude to the Ministry of Education and institutions such as MTSSR and ITB for their strong support.

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