As a labour intensive sector, tourism’s capacity to attract, retain and develop human capital is essential to its competitiveness.
The first UNWTO Forum on Talent Development in Tourism, organized by the UNWTO Knowledge Network jointly with UNWTO Affiliate Member University of Medellin, brought together Colombian tourism students with representatives from the private and the public sector from around the world to explore how to better match supply and demand of skilled labour in tourism.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai observed that: “Tourism and hospitality students … are the future of the tourism sector. Today, our sector offers excellent entry points into the job market, but we need to improve its capacity to provide opportunities for long-term careers in order to help maximize tourism’s contribution to inclusive development.”
Colombia’s vice-minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Sandra Howard emphasized the essential role of young tourism students in shaping and upholding the Colombian tourism sector’s success.
During the forum’s panel discussion, participants emphasized that talent development in tourism depends on the joint efforts of tourism educators and institutions; the private sector; and public bodies. They further pointed out the important role that international organizations can play in this regard. Above all, participants stressed the need to provide opportunities for the development, implementation and reward of creativity and innovation by the workforce and prospect recruits.
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