26 hotels, resorts in PHL receive skills dev’t grants to improve PHL tourism -- DOT

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, May 9 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday announced the awarding of 26 skills development training grants to hotels, resorts and various tourism industries to boost the tourism industry’s competitiveness.

Awardees were chosen from the country’s main tourism destinations which include Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Palawan, which serve as the program’s pilot areas.

“We welcome this technical assistance as it complements our National Tourism Development Plan, which targets to increase tourism revenue, employment, and arrivals to aid in job creation and poverty reduction,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. in a statement.

A total of US$ 7.1-million technical assistance was designed for this grant since 2013, to support the Philippine government’s effort to achieve inclusive growth and create employment opportunities in tourism.

This grants scheme program, established by the DOT, forms part of the Improving Competitiveness in Tourism project administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and funded by the Government of Canada.

“Our collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Canada for this grants scheme program proves that international institutions recognize the role of tourism as a key driver of economic development in the country,” Jimenez added.

Under the program, which will run for 38 months, various accommodation enterprises submitted proposals to help fund their skills training programs.

These include food and beverage preparation and service, front office, personality development, housekeeping, and leisure and entertainment activities.

A total of US$ 7.1-million technical assistance was designed for this grant since 2013, to support the Philippine government’s effort to achieve inclusive growth and create employment opportunities in tourism.

ADB Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade Division in the Southeast Asia Department Shigeko Hattori, for her part, said the Philippine tourism industry has grown to become a major source of quality jobs in the country.

“With the booming tourism industry, we recognize that a better skilled workforce is needed as it will lead to quality services,” she said.

Hattori also underscored the Filipinos’ innate hospitality and the country’s availability of exquisite tourist spots, noting that the Philippines has all the potential to become an international travel destination.

“Through the Improving Competitiveness in Tourism program, we hope to capitalize on these assets and prove to the world that it is indeed more fun in the Philippines,” she added.

The Improving Competitiveness in Tourism project aims to deliver three outputs, namely: assistance for local governments to reduce red tape affecting businesses operating in the tourism sector; industry support to raise standards through DOT’s new hotel and resorts quality assurance and accreditation framework; and tourism industry skills development program. (PNA)
lgi/ANP