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Formation of Two Tourism Boards Based on the MRA on ASEAN Tourism Professionals

October 26, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

1329674317pThe Cabinet has approved the formation of the National Tourism Professional Board and the Tourism Professional Certification Board, in accordance with the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on ASEAN Tourism Professionals.
The proposal was made by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the two boards are chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

The Cabinet was told that ASEAN Member States had signed the MRA on ASEAN Tourism Professionals, which is one of the key ASEAN tourism initiatives to support the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. The MRA will facilitate the mobility of tourism professionals within the region, using the ASEAN Minimum Competency Standards for Tourism as the basis. It will also promote the exchange of tourism information on best practices in competency-based education and training for tourism professionals.

There are 32 job titles covered under this MRA, ranging from housekeeping, front office, food and beverages services, and food production for the hotel division, to travel agencies and tour operators for travel division.

The agreement will come into force when all ASEAN countries form their own boards responsible for improving the quality of services delivered by tourism professionals and issuing licenses, or certificates, for tourism professionals who have attended training and passed the tests on competency standards in the 32 job titles.

The National Tourism Professional Board, comprising representatives from public and private organizations, is responsible for providing better understanding, as well as news and information, about the MRA for the people involved. It will also develop, supervise, and follow up on upgrading the competency of tourism professionals, as specified in the ASEAN Common Competency for Tourism Professionals.

The Tourism Professional Certification Board, also comprising representatives from public and private organizations, is responsible for assessing tourism competency standards and registering tourism professionals, based on the ASEAN Common Competency for Tourism Professionals. Registered tourism professionals at the ASEAN level will be able to work in all ASEAN Member States.

As for Thailand, the Minister of Tourism and Sports chairs the two boards, with the Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports as Vice Chairman and with the Director of the Institute for Tourism Personnel, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, as member and secretary.

The growth of international tourism in ASEAN has been remarkable, and the travel and tourism sector plays an important role in the overall ASEAN economy. International visitor arrivals to ASEAN in 2011 came to 81 million. The number rose to almost 89 million in 2012.

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