by RONALYN BANAKEN
Participants from St. Mary’s College of Tagum in Davao del Norte emerged as the champion in the Parade of Philippine Festivals
category of the National League of Tourism Students Skills Olympics at the UB gym.
Gathering the country’s biggest hospitality and tourism schools, including one from South Korea, the University of Baguio (UB) staged the first-ever International Tourism and Hospitality Convention at Camp John Hay on Feb. 14 – the first in Northern Luzon.
The event is the only university-organized tourism convention in Northern Luzon.
Participated in by an estimated 1,000 tourism students, the event focused on the link between the tourism and hospitality industry and the ASEAN 2015 agenda. ASEAN 2015 is an initiative that pushes for the regional economic integration of the member countries of the Southeast Asian region.
Thomas Graham, a social entrepreneur, explained the tie between social tourism and the ASEAN initiative while Ramon Sun – a marketing consultant – tackled marketing strategy and innovation in relation to the ASEAN scheme.
UB’s Rachelle Anne Montoya also discussed “Cultural Pressures in Tourism Site: The Kabayan Mummies in Focus.”
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOT-CAR) Regional Director Purificacion Molintas highlighted the implications of the ASEAN economic integration to the Philippine tourism industry.
The challenges and opportunities for hospitality and tourism professionals were also explored as Olive Ramos, Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Airways Philippines, shared her thoughts on the topic.
The conference was spearheaded by the Travel Club - League of Tourism Students of the Philippines (LTSP) UB Chapter. It was co-organized by TEAM Philippines, LTSP National Chapter, and the Department of Tourism.
Drawing around 500 educators and students from all over the country, UB also organized the National League of Tourism Students Skills Olympics – now on its third year – on Feb. 15. Held at the UB gym, it covered nine categories: tourism choir competition, Flight Attendant’s Showmanship, scenic photography, tourism poster making, tour package presentation, virtual tourguiding (domestic and international), quiz bee, and the Grand Parade of Philippine Festivals. It also included the Search for Mr. and Ms. LTSP.
The Lyceum of the Philippines-Manila was hailed as the champion.
“This is the third time that UB – through SIHTM – has organized the event,” said Jenelyn Magpatoc, overall chairperson of both the Skills Olympics and the International Tourism and Hospitality Convention.
“Both events are really aimed at helping the students gain more understanding of the hospitality and tourism industry. More specifically, the Skills Olympics somehow helped hone their skills as far as their specialization is concerned,” she added.
“The UB SIHTM students, being the student organizers, were also exposed to first-hand event management,” she said.