Monday, July 22

Local tourism industry needs more manpower

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A BOOST FOR HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM SECTOR: Wong (second left) and Yeap (second right) exchanging the document after signing the Memorandum of Agreement. Also seen are Pahon (centre) and Lu (left).

KUCHING: Permanent secretary of Tourism and Heritage Ministry Datuk Ik Pahon revealed that the local tourism industry needs more manpower to boost the industry and to achieve its target of recording 36 million tourists arrival nationwide.

Pahon said that the tourism industry focused on three Ps, which stands for People, Promotion and Product.

“However, there is a lack of human resources, especially foreign language speaking tourist guides,” he said during the signing of Memorandum Of Agreement between UCSI University and Grand Magherita and Riverside Majestic hotel here yesterday.

He said the industry needs more people with language abilities, experience and knowledge, in order to reach Sarawak’s target of having four million tourists this year.

He disclosed: “We are targeting to receive 36 million tourists nationwide by 2020. There is a need to upgrade the people’s competency, service, and quality, especially in hotel and hospitality as well as public transport services.”

He added that from January to February this year, the number of tourists visit had increased compared to last year, with foreign tourists arrival recorded an increase of 16 per cent and domestic at nine per cent.

On this note, UCSI has launched its Diploma in Hotel Management with work-based learning modules which will commence this coming May with its first intake of 25 students.

The partnership between UCSI and leading hotels will require the diploma students to undergo a total of 10 months training with the hotel of their preference, to ensure students are equipped with the best artillery for the industry when they face the real working world.

In a press statement, it also said that the partnership was made to further secure UCSI’s pledge in leading the Entry Point Project 10 (EPP 10), which is a pilot project under the ‘Educational’ National Key Economic Area to improve the country’s tourism industry through improved systems and modules.

In line with the aim to create a larger, highly capable taskforce for the future of hospitality and tourism, the university is also currently developing three five-star hotels in Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur.

The hotels are expected to be completed in May 2012, April 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Also present at the function were UCSI’s vice president of Industry and Strategic Projects Prof Madya Dr Wong Kong Yew, its chief operating officer Lu Huong Ying and Grand Magherita and Riverside hotel’s general manager Arthur Yeap.