THE travel industry is still hiring despite the global economic slowdown, with an official saying yesterday that 3,000 jobs awaited tourism graduates at the Philippines’ hotels and resorts.
“For this year, our conservative estimate is that there will be at least 3,000 new hires, not to mention the fact that airlines continue to expand,” Tourism Secretary Durano said at the launch of a program for graduating tourism and hospitality students.
The Tourism Apprenticeship Program is a five-day tour of world-class tourism destinations in the Philippines to make participants experience the industry through visits.
International visitor arrivals in the Philippines grew 4 percent to 2.6 million in the first 10 months of last year, with the full-year figure expected to match the 3.3-million arrivals in 2007.
Durano said foreign arrivals were expected to remain above three million this year despite the global economic downturn.
“In the last four years, we have created growth momentum in tourism. We expect this momentum to continue to create job opportunities for Filipinos,” he said.
Durano said the global economic downturn was expected to hurt tourism this year, but the next growth spurt would happen over the next two years.
“The Philippines will be in a good position to take advantage of this growth spurt by 2010 or 2011,” he said.
Some 2,000 hotels rooms are expected to add to the 34,000 existing rooms in the country this year, including those of Shangri-La Boracay in Aklan, Imperial Hotel and Resort in Cebu, and Radisons Hotel in Pasay City.
Durano said one new room would create one direct employment.
“And the higher the classification of the hotel, the higher the employment ratio,” he said.
“If there is a 400-room hotel opening, it will create a minimum of 400 jobs.”
Durano said 2,000 rooms meant 2,000 more people employed. Another 1,000 jobs would be created by the expansion of local airlines and the hotels and resorts in Bohol and Boracay.
Land transport services were also expanding to serve the destinations, Durano said.
“Other services will expand as the tourism sector grows. In the next two years, there will be expansion in livelihood opportunities,” he said. –Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today