The Department of Tourism (DOT) has trained over 30,000 professionals in the tourism industry last year, surpassing its target for 2021 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Department will continue its commitment to support the tourism industry towards its recovery and sustainability through conducting training programs.
“Through these training programs, the DOT is capacitating our tourism workforce, maintaining service quality and ensuring that their skills can match the requirements in the new normal,” Puyat said.
According to the DOT, it has provided necessary training to a total of 30,680 tourism professionals as of Dec. 23, 2021 — higher than its 16,000 target threshold.
Based on a data from the DOT-Office of Industry Manpower Development (OIMD), the number of trainings conducted by the DOT in 2021 significantly increased to 677 from the 588 recorded in 2020.
Among the trainings conducted by DOT with its regional offices include the Department’s advocacy programs such as Barrier Free Tourism, which discusses topics on disability and autism sensitivity in the industry, and the Tourism Integrates, Supports and Minds Women’s Rights and Child Safety or TourISM WoRCS that aims to mitigate the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the sector.
The Department also held webinars focusing on the safety and security of tourists from the COVID-19 pandemic where protocols in public areas are discussed.
To ensure that tourism workers and frontliners are also safe, Basic Occupational Safety and Health Trainings were conducted to ensure that there will be certified Safety Officers in our tourism-related establishments and community-based tourism organizations.
For community-based tourism organizations, trainings on eco-guiding, culinary, and basic safety and rescue courses were offered, while “restart up kits” were provided under the Tourism Industry Skills Program Assistance in Development Initiative.
The Philippine Tourism Human Capital Development Plan 2021- 2025 was also launched last year by the DOT, with the Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc., Technical Education Skills Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, the tourism private sector, and the academe to serve as a blueprint in developing the country’s tourism industry and ensure its competitiveness in the market.
Meanwhile, the DOT, through the OIMD and the regional offices, vowed to continue to “enhance knowledge and upgrade skills” of Filipino tourism stakeholders for this year.
The country’s tourism sector has been among the hardest hit by the ongoing health crisis due to travel restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19, especially during the start of the pandemic.