The standardization of skills required in ASEAN’s tourism industry will take a big step forward at a unique conference in August.
Government ministers from around ASEAN will join with tourism industry stakeholders to launch the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) at the international conference on MRA-TP in Jakarta, 8-9 August.
The standardization and benchmarking of skills affects 32 job profiles in tourism and hospitality among the 10 ASEAN member states. The adoption of the agreement at the conference will boost service standards and encourage intra-ASEAN mobility among tourism employees.
The new benchmarking will affect jobs in hotels such as front office, housekeeping, food and beverage services, as well as tour operations, food production and travel agencies.
“The fulfilment of the MRA-TP initiative will boost the quality of services, as it will create mobile, trained and confident skilled-labour suited to travel industry needs,” said Mr Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism, Indonesia, which is organising the event.
In 2002, ASEAN leaders agreed to upgrade tourism education curricula and skills and formulate competency standards and certification agreements that would be mutually recognised across the region.
Now, with 32 job types benchmarked, 52 qualifications initiated and 242 training ‘toolboxes’ created for ASEAN, accompanied by trainers and skill assessors together with its registration system, the MRA-TP process can now be formally ratified in Jakarta.
Attendance to the conference is open. Ministers, senior officials from ministries such as labour, education, and tourism and representatives from training and educational institutions, certification boards and international organisations will all attend.
The objective of the conference is to build wider awareness of skills benchmarking and open doors to increased intra-ASEAN cooperation in travel, tourism and hospitality.