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Diver being assisted with scuba at beach
Tourism in the Philippines

The Improving Competitiveness in Tourism project is a capacity building intervention designed to support regulatory review and reform, raise tourism and hospitality service and accommodation standards, and develop skills to support the inclusive growth of the tourism sector in the Philippines. Funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Canada the project will work with the Philippine Department of Tourism to increase employment and job security in the tourism sector, which are critical channels for achieving inclusive growth.

Key aspects impacting the international competitiveness of the tourism sector have been outlined by the Philippines government and include issues such as the shortage of skilled labour and quality of service standards.

In response to the increasing demand for skilled labour and accessible, healthy tourism markets, a diverse team of international and national consultants are currently supporting the Department of Tourism to complete activities across the three project outputs of:

  1. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), which will focus on improving regulations to reduce regulatory compliance costs of businesses operating in the sector;
  2. Implementation of the Hotel and Resorts Quality Assurance and Accreditation, which will build on a new system of Hotel and Resorts Quality Assurance and Accreditation designed to improve and standardise the classification of hotel and resort facilities and service standards and act as a market-based incentive to raise service standards and promote staff skills development; and,
  3. The Tourism Industry Skills Development Program will adopt a demand-driven approach to skills development with the effective engagement and input from Industry. This will include both the upgrading of vocational skills and competency levels in the industry and a skills grants scheme for industry, local government and civil society organisations.

Under the project, four pilot priority tourism destinations will be targeted – Bohol, Cebu, Davao and Palawan. The project will work in line with the country’s National Tourism Development Plan to address these issues, with the aim to encourage 10 million international visitors and 56 million domestic travellers into the Philippines by 2016.

Tourism industry skills grants scheme

Please view the video below related to Output 3 of the project, the skills grant scheme. The grants will enable resorts and hotels to source training for their staff in vocational skills and hospitality, and in essence, increase their strength in the workforce by improving their employability. The Launch Ceremony in Cebu was the official ‘awarding’ of $850,000 of grants allocated after a stringent application process.

Enhancing skills in the Philippine tourism industry (YouTube: 7m15s)

Project members

Suzanne Brangwin

Program Manager, Philippines