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Thailand Proposes a Course for Tourism Professionals Based on ASEAN Standards

March 25, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

1481100609pThe Ministry of Labor has proposed a course to develop skills for tourism personnel in order to prepare them for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Skill Development, Mr. Wisanu Panaworn, said that the skill development course had been worked out in accordance with the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on ASEAN Tourism Professionals.

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 AEC in 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 the travel division.

According to the Deputy Director-General, Thailand’s proposed course covers 34 job titles. The two additional job titles are the senior executive officer and the sales and marketing senior executive officer. He said that the Department of Skill Development realized that the course should include these two job titles, as they are also tourism professionals.

This skill development course is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on cooperation with the education sector in developing the tourism workforce in preparation for AEC. The second part seeks to upgrade tourism personnel by developing skills for workers in the hotel business and tourism industry. In the third part, emphasis is placed on developing skills for independent entrepreneurs who wish to be engaged in tourism as a supplementary occupation.

The course lasts 60 hours, based on the ASEAN Minimum Competency Standards for Tourism. The competency standards are graded into three related groups of skills: core, generic, and functional competencies.

The Deputy Director-General also said that the Department would probably develop this course as a common course for ASEAN tourism professionals. CLMV countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam – have not yet introduced such a course. If this course is adopted by the four countries, as well, it will become a major tourism subject in this region.

He stated that an announcement on the use of the skill development course for tourism professionals will be made in September, and testing will begin in October 2014. Thailand will be the first country in ASEAN to propose and implement this course.

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