Sydney Symposium discusses Integration of Training for Tourism Professionals
Few travel industry professional fully appreciate just how large and economically vital our industry is globally. In 2016 over 1.25 billion people travelled internationally, many times more domestically. The industry turned over US$7.5 trillion dollars and employed 250 million people. Globally, the travel and tourism industry accounts for just over 10% of global GDP. For a vast, varied and highly competitive industry to deliver excellent Tourism and hospitality services and maintain high standards of management and staff performance, training is a vital ingredient.
Global and transnational tourism organizations including the UN World Tourism Organization, World Travel and Tourism Council and the Pacific Asia Travel Association have all made extensive commitments to excellence in training. They have engaged with a wide range of training providers from universities, private and technical colleges colleges and industry sector training providers to support training initiatives. Increasingly, travel businesses aspiring to be leaders in their field have a responsibility to treat their staff as professionals on a par with doctors, lawyers and accountants.
During March 13-14 2017, over 100 leaders involved in Australian travel training will gather in NSW Parliament House. They are attending a two day symposium organized by Mr Rick Myatt, head of AFTA’s (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) Education and Training division in association with the Australian Travel Career’s Council. The 2017 Industry Leaders and Educators Engagement Symposium is designed to explore enhanced integration between the wide range of training and education providers which service the travel industry. It is also intended to explore the extent of engagement between training providers and the travel industry.
Rick Myatt, has been a champion of bringing tourism trainers and educators together for many years. This year’s symposium includes speakers representing many pieces in a jigsaw of training providers and educators which serve travel industry professionals and thousands of people who aspire to join them.
The speakers list includes a wide range of companies and institutions which deliver training to current and prospective travel industry professionals. In Australia, in-service training is often covered by travel companies themselves. Major travel agency groups including Hello World, Flight Centre and Travel Managers invest considerable resources to provide in-service training for staff of their affiliated businesses. Wholesale Tour Operators provide training to their own staff but invest heavily in product and destination training for travel, agents. Principals ranging from airlines, destination management organizations, car rental firms, cruise operators, global distribution systems providers and accommodation providers are committed to train their internal staff and their many external stakeholders. At the symposium, speakers from Qantas, IATA, Hello World, Travelport, Avis, Amadeus, Tourism Accommodation Australia and Tourism Australia will be among those discussing the training approaches of individual companies and industry sectors.
The symposium includes speakers who will discuss strategic approaches to travel industry training from the perspective of government, transnational tourism associations and national training bodies including Tourism Training Australia and the Australian Travel Careers Council. In Australia TAFE (Technical and Further Education), private colleges and the universities all play important though different roles in preparing prospective travel industry professionals to work in the industry. A key theme which unites all these educational providers is maintaining constant engagement with the industry to ensure that training is both current and relevant.
Universities and the growing number of travel industry specialist consultants provide specialist training and research which guides industry strategy and performance. The main aim of the symposium will be to develop links between these many training and educational providers leading to a more integrated approach to training in the Australian context. From a global tourism perspective, minimizing fragmentation in tourism training has the potential to enhance inter-sectoral cooperation. This ensures that the travel experience all our customers receive, reflect the industry’s shared commitment to professionalism.