Tourism will need new employment skills; Trinidad workshop will identify opportunities

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

Representatives from Belize’s IT-VET participated in a workshop this week to identify emerging job opportunities in the tourism sector in order to design training programs for new opportunities opening up.

The two-day workshop, held in Trinidad, was co-ordinated by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Decent Work team. Its main thrust is to ensure that newly qualified, skilled persons can occupy those new positions when they become available.

The theme of the workshop was “Anticipating Skills Requirements in Tourism: Occupational Trends and Emerging Demands.”

Representatives from Belize, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago sought to identify the most important emerging technologies in the tourism sector.

These cover the gamut of the use of electronic tourist passes, personalized electronic guides, electronic booths, global IT booking systems, satellite-enabled environmental management, sustainable management of tourist resources, telecommunications integration, energy-efficient microsystems, food hygiene control systems for hotels and restaurants, equipment and systems to improve accessibility for disabled persons, electronic translation devices, and special therapy equipment for hotels.

The increasing use of technology in the tourism sector can provide many diverse employment opportunities, and new skills will need to be developed and training programs provided.

Giovanni di Cola, director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean stated that, “The ILO is keen to support such future initiatives aimed at enhancing skills in identified niches of a given sector, such as tourism and making sure that these skills respond to labour market demands.”

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