A more skilled workforce in the tourism sector helps to create a positive visitor experience and adds to the success of a destination and its economic performance. A key challenge for destinations and operators in the tourism industry is to ensure that the sector has the skills and people to sustain economic growth and development. People and skills affect the bottom line and improving skills levels is key to improving productivity.
Stakeholders in the tourism sector need to ensure that everyone working in tourism and its related sectors has the skills and attitude to provide visitors a warm welcome and enjoyable and interesting stay, to add positively to every visitor’s experience.
It is recognised that traditionally the tourism sector does not have a strong image as a career choice. In terms of recruitment and retention, actions must be taken to dispel the image that the tourism and hospitality sector is a low pay, low skill employment option.
Raising standards of professionalism is a challenge and an industry-led commitment to improvement and training to increase productivity is central to successful destination wide tourism initiatives. It is important to promote a learning culture across the tourism industry, influence training providers and improve the image of tourism as a job and career.
In Planning Solutions Consulting’s experience of developing training plans and visions for skills there are a number of issues which may be faced:
Building Industry Consensus
Whatever industry skills standards is developed, its success will be determined by the buy-in and commitment of partners and industry to a coherent skills standards that provides entry routes, professional recognition and career development pathways.
Skills and Training During an Economic Downturn
Despite the tourism sector needing a more qualified and skilled workforce, public spending cuts during the current economic downturn will have a significant impact on subsidised programmes. As far as training is concerned, this will mean that employers will be asked to contribute more from their own budgets to develop their staff. There is a practical role to ensure that the proposed skills and training programmes demonstrate added value for employers.
Commercial Support / Sponsors / Champions
It may be possible to attract one or more key figures from within the hospitality sector to become a champion or corporate sponsor for destination wide training initiatives and it is important to identify potential commercial sponsors.
The development of a successful skills vision for tourist destinations is dependent upon a number of factors, including engagement. A skills vision needs to be based upon the needs of operators and frontline employees and as such a key element is to engage with all stakeholders.
You can download this research note – Tourism Skills and Training as a PDF document.
About Planning Solutions Consulting
Planning Solutions Consulting Limited is a specialist research, development and business advisory company working in the fields of tourism, leisure and recreation. We have developed and advised on training strategies for a number of tourism businesses including Harry Ramsden’s, Conkers, the National Brewery Centre (the former Bass Museum) and a holiday village.
Planning Solutions Consulting Limited
9 Leigh Road
Hampshire PO9 2ES
Tel: 023 9248 1999