Bouncing Forward: Central Luzon Tourism and Hospitality Education Virtual Conference

Bouncing Forward: Central Luzon Tourism and Hospitality Education Virtual Conference

The Commission on Higher Education Regional Office III (CHEDRO-III), in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region III conducted the Bouncing Forward: Central Luzon Tourism and Hospitality Education Virtual Conference via Zoom meeting on Thursday, 21 October 2021 with the theme “Forging Ties Among the Government, Industry and Academe Amidst the Pandemic in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry”.

With an ultimate goal of responding to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure education continuity and readiness of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Central Luzon, the CHEDRO-III has partnered with other Regional Line Agencies to address concerns of various disciplines such as for tourism and hospitality programs under the “new normal” the following issues were raised:

1. Job skill mismatch between graduates of tourism and hospitality education and industry needs;
2. Conduct of student industry exposure while face-to-face practicum is still suspended due to the pandemic;
3. Recalibration of curriculum to address industry and local needs; and
4. Supply of graduates and the demand for BSTM/ BSHM graduates in the next four (4) years.

CHEDRO-III OIC-Regional Director, Dr. Maria Teresita M. Semana stated the initiatives of the CHEDRO-III in preparation for tourism recovery in Central Luzon in her opening remarks. Dr. Semana shared that “the CHEDRO-III conducted an Industry Employment Demand and Academe Graduates Supply (IED-AGS) Mapping in compliance with the thrust of the Commission to check the viability of HEI program offerings versus the industry requirements as affected by the pandemic”.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat served as Keynote Speaker and mentioned that “the pandemic has given us the chance to revisit our strategies for tourism development where the thrust is to promote safe, fun and competitive tourism.”

The Philippine Tourism Human Capital Development Plan and Virtual Soiree on Practicum (V.S.O.P.) Program for Tourism and Hospitality was discussed by the DOT Chief, Mr. Ryan Sebastian, who represented DOT Asec. Maria Rica C. Bueno, Assistant Secretary for Human Capital Development and Industry Manpower Development.

Meanwhile, Mr. Benhur Ong, who represented CHED Director, Dr. Cherrie Melanie A. Diego, Director IV, Office of Programs and Standards Development, gave the CHED Updates on Tourism/ Hospitality Education.

The workshop has four (4) breakout sessions to solicit inputs from the participants in addressing the issues and challenges of Tourism/Hospitality Education being led by the Leader and members of the OER-Business Management Education Core Group.

The virtual conference was attended by the Dean/Program Heads of HEIs offering Tourism/Hospitality Programs, DOT-III officials headed by the Regional Director, Director Carolina De Guzman-Uy, Tourism Officers in Region III and other Industry Partners in Central Luzon and CHEDRO-III officials and staff headed by OIC-Regional Director, Dr. Maria Teresita M. Semana.