In the last decade or so, tourism has positioned itself as a critical variable in the development planning space and the development discourse globally. Today businesses, governments, international organizations as well as NGOs have established, or are establishing programs, initiatives and programs to facilitate tourism for development. Academic institutions have also been introducing, organizing or reorganizing ‘tourism’ as an important element of their curriculum. The University of the West Indies is no exception. Through its many courses, centers and institutes, the UWI has been preparing our Caribbean nationals for the expanding opportunities and benefits being presented by the growth of the tourism sector. But we have much more to do.
Turismo y desarrollo
According to the UNTWO, WTTC, CTO, PATA and several other regional and global institutions, tourism has been recognized as that force, which accelerates human development, social and economic inclusiveness, increased entrepreneurship and self-employment, the generation of decent work, environmental sustainability and also support regional integration.
Indeed, the contribution of tourism to both national and regional development continues to be enormous and I dare say unmatched. Firstly, tourism is linked to the notion of a sustainable economy in several ways. The economic indicators show that Caribbean is the most-tourism dependent in the world, tourism is the main economic sector in 16 out of 28 Caribbean states and the total contribution of tourism to employment in the Caribbean is estimated at 2.4 million jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Annual Report for 2018. In Jamaica tourism employs one in every four persons.
Más allá del turismo de empleo directo y la hotelería, existen vastas oportunidades indirectas para suministrar insumos a las empresas turísticas que atienden la experiencia del visitante en áreas como alojamiento, alimentos y bebidas, artes culturales y creativas, entretenimiento y recreación, agricultura, manufactura, banca y finanzas y extranjeros. intercambiar.
Tourism is also linked to the preservation of heritage and culture through the concept of experiential tourism. Most tourists travel to have authentic experiences that require that they partake in activities and consume and acquire products/goods that are indigenous to the countries they travel. Tourism thus helps to preserve natural and cultural resources while generating revenues and incomes for local populations.
To unlock the potential of tourism to contribute to inclusive growth and development our main focus at the Ministry of Tourism is to find innovate ways to reduce economic leakage in the tourism sector and to improve retention. This mandate is already being executed through our Linkages Network which has been coordinating policies and strategies designed to strengthen linkages with other sectors of the economy particularly the agricultural and manufacturing sector, strengthen the benefits derived from the industry by local residents and communities and promote broader participation by nationals.
We however recognize that the competitiveness 0f the Caribbean destinations will significantly rely on how well we prepare our people for the emerging opportunities. If Caribbean destinations are to remain globally-competitive and increase their share of the global tourist market, we must find ways to unlock new sources of competitiveness and comparative advantage.
Traditionally the tourism sector has enjoyed one of the highest rates of labor mobility of any segment of the economy. However, many of the opportunities taken up by our citizens are those that require low skill and offer limited prospect for economic mobility. This fact is largely attributable to the fact that the majority of the tourism-related jobs are deemed to require low to medium-level technical skills. The global tourism market is however becoming increasingly differentiated and segmented. Consequently, the continued growth of Travel & Tourism in the region will depend on the right people with the right skills being available to meet this demand for additional human capital. And we at the MOT have been working to create a paradigm shift in the local tourism space which will see our citizens accessing more substantive jobs and I will discuss this some more in a minute.
Muchas tendencias están afectando las habilidades necesarias para desempeñarse de manera competente en trabajos relacionados con el turismo, como la digitalización y la virtualización, la necesidad de comportamientos y prácticas sostenibles, el crecimiento de segmentos no tradicionales, la cambiante demografía de los viajeros internacionales (más jóvenes, más específicos) , el cambio de estilos de vida y las demandas de los consumidores y la necesidad de políticas basadas en datos. La tecnología ha tenido un impacto significativo en el empleo relacionado con el turismo, además de apoyar y cambiar la forma en que se prestan los servicios. Si bien la tecnología ha degradado ciertas habilidades en el sector turístico, ha mejorado otras habilidades, particularmente en las áreas de marketing, información y comunicación. Los destinos del Caribe deben reconocer las diferentes preferencias de una nueva generación de viajeros más jóvenes y la creciente importancia de los servicios y el marketing en línea, especialmente a través de Internet móvil. El futuro del turismo radica en la manipulación y explotación de las capacidades de las TIC como big data, análisis de big data, aprendizaje automático, tecnologías blockchain, Internet de las cosas, robótica, etc. Por lo tanto, necesitamos capitalizar urgentemente las oportunidades de empleo altamente calificado. que se están generando en los campos relacionados con las TIC en el turismo.
The growth of non-traditional markets in Europe, Asia and Central America will require increased focus on cultural studies and the development of competencies in various foreign languages. The increased focus on data-driven policies to better understand the emerging needs of markets, to analyze trends and to predict future patterns means that tourism development strategy must increasingly emphasize research-based skills. The evolving tourism market will require modern managerial skills that can drive performance improvements in the sector by raising productivity through better staff planning and scheduling, employing new technology and improving employee motivation, thereby reducing staff turnover. Most importantly , we must equip our citizens with the competitive business management and marketing skills that are required to operate successful tourism enterprises in this globalized era.
In the current dispensation, the hospitality sector has to contend with negative perceptions of low wages and the lack of career opportunities beyond entry-level jobs. Studies have found that many university students have a peripheral view of tourism. There is oftentimes scarce information and misconceptions about the skills required as well as the opportunities for career development. National governments must take a lead in developing a long-term workforce development strategy. Ideally, such a strategy would be developed within the broader context of improving the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability, since the increasing demand for skilled labor will continue to present a major challenge in all countries. It is highly recommended that strategies and their implementation should be carried out with the private and education sectors and embrace agreed-upon commitments from the industry.
Se necesita un marco institucional sólido para determinar las políticas y programas de educación y capacitación que respaldarán un mercado laboral y un entorno empresarial más atractivos en el turismo, lo que permitirá a la industria mantener una fuerza laboral suficiente y altamente calificada y, por lo tanto, respaldará la mejora de la productividad en La industria. Mi opinión es que, si bien no siempre se requieren calificaciones formales en turismo, su existencia y una oportunidad ampliamente disponible para obtener calificaciones y desarrollo de competencias en turismo pueden contribuir a elevar el prestigio de la ocupación y del sector en general.
A study by the WTTC revealed that Travel & Tourism’s human capital challenges are significantly higher than those faced in other sectors with most countries in study projecting to face a talent ‘deficit’ or ‘shortage’ in Travel & Tourism over the next ten years. Talent development will also prevent many high-skilled positions from being filled by migrant workers. Both public and private sector are thus encouraged to act now to address the anticipated talent shortage.
Dada la naturaleza robusta de la cartera de turismo de UWI, que se amplió recientemente con el reciente lanzamiento del primer Centro de Gestión de Crisis y Resiliencia Turística Global de la región, aquí en UWI, los cambios en el espacio turístico, las nuevas tecnologías de instrucción, la naturaleza cada vez más diversificada del turismo, Es hora de que la UWI reinvente su cartera de turismo y consolide sus programas, cursos, institutos, centros, etc.bajo un mismo techo aquí en una de las mecas del turismo del Caribe (Montego Bay) con el establecimiento de una escuela o facultad de Turismo .
Indeed, UWIs global recognition as a powerful intellectual institution will position the UWI to make an even more substantive contribution to the development of the region through such a Faculty or School. Certainly, this effort would have my support, and, although I cannot speak for my Caribbean counterparts, I am more than certain it would also have the support of the government of the region. More specifically, in keeping with the mandate of the administration that I am apart of, I reiterate my commitment to promoting a sustainable tourism product that advances the well-being of local communities and that incorporates more local talent in the delivery of tourism services.