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Upgrading tourism education

I have been teaching tourism courses for almost two decades now. Even while I was running the countrywide operations of an international airline, I was handling classes on the side. I find it a gratifying experience to be able to share my knowledge with the starry-eyed upstarts of the tourism industry, especially when, as the semester ends, they start thinking like me and can easily discuss with anybody, the latest issues in the industry.

Upgrading tourism education
The backdrop for Union of Filipino Tourism Educators' 6th Annual General Membership Meeting and Research Presentations event. 
This is why I take the time to update myself on new trends, new issues, new challenges of the industry, and on the continuously evolving standards of the academe. I have to be sure that what I share and how I share it with my students is relevant.

A week ago, I attended the General Membership Meeting of the Union of Filipino Tourism Educators (UFTE) because it was announced that some research papers would be presented to the audience. I know that scholarly research is always a good source of new and verified information and data.

UFTE started in 1988 when schools in Metro Manila, offering tourism courses, formed the Association of Tourism Schools in the Philippines. These founding schools were the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Sebastian College, De Ocampo College, La Consolacion College, Centro Escolar University, and the University of Santo Tomas.

After four years, the increase in their membership made them change their Constitution and their name to Tourism Educators of Schools, Colleges and Universities, but it was in the year 2000, after securing membership from many colleges and universities nationwide, the association became known as the Union of Filipino Tourism Educators.

Guided by its vision of having an increasing pool of trained academicians and professionals in Travel and Tourism who understand the close interrelationship among all segments of the tourism industry, UFTE promotes close ties between educators and the industry. It also unites all schools, colleges, and universities with Tourism Programs, with the end in view of training and developing students for a productive and meaningful career in tourism.

Its lectures, seminars, workshops, and conferences in various fields of tourism increase its members’ professional knowledge through interaction with leading personalities from all levels of the industry.  The organization also makes it possible for the members to work with colleagues, to advance the image and understanding of tourism educators within the industry.

The gathering I attended highlighted the advancement of tourism education in the country through research and collaboration with industry partners. In fact, the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Ninoy Alejandro spoke on Creating Tourism Jobs Through Research. He explained how a well-crafted research paper can lead to the discovery of potential sources of business and to the upgrading of operational standards and processes.

I learned that, for a research paper to be of value, it must have originality in its contribution to knowledge with an emphasis on innovativeness. Its Quality of Argument must banner critical analysis of theories, concepts, and findings, and must have clear positioning of its purpose. Of course, its writing style must be impeccable.

There were five other research papers presented, which made for an academically enriching afternoon.  No wonder I met other educators who flew in all the way from Mindanao, while many others came in from the northernmost areas of Luzon.

Upgrading tourism education
Dr. Ninoy Alejandro, keynote speaker of the UFTE Conference
As for me, I found myself energized as this UFTE Conference primed me for leveling up in my academic duties, and that’s an upgrade, anyway I see it!

For feedback, I’m at [email protected]

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Topics: Union of Filipino Tourism Educators , Association of Tourism Schools , Ninoy Alejandro
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