MANILA, APRIL 25, 2009
(STAR) The number of the country’s tourism jobs is evidently growing as can be seen from the unexpectedly big increase in the number of employers joining this year’s Trabaho sa Turismo (TST) Manila fair.

This early, the TST Manila 2009 is almost fully booked with 270 employers participating, including Philippine Airlines, which is joining the event for the first time.

The 270 employers, according to Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, account for a remarkable 54.3 percent jump over last year’s 175.

“This big number of participating employers may also mean more jobs available to applicants during TST’s staging at the SMX Convention Center on May 22 to 23,” Durano added.

“These (job openings) should reflect the industry’s mounting manpower needs as a result of newly completed and ongoing tourism projects,” Durano said of the 1,700 rooms scheduled to open in Manila this year and 2,000 others elsewhere in the country.

“These are all part of the P550-billion expansion projects of various investors involving some 7,000 new hotel and resort rooms,” Durano said.

These projects, according to Durano, were inspired by vigorous investment promotion, development of new tourism products and new foreign markets and/or market segments, construction of support infrastructure, and the resulting boom in domestic tourism and foreign visitor arrivals since 2004, and even up to 2008 when the US financial meltdown triggered a global crisis, especially in the First World.

“Thus, 2008 still managed to post a modest increase to 3.14 million inbound visitors from 3.09 million in 2007. And we are working hard to keep the number on the uptrend through a broad-based product diversification and market expansion strategies,” Durano added.

The TST Manila 2009 is the fourth annual job fair organized by the Department of Tourism to help the industry meet its skills requirement amid rising standards of global competitiveness.

The Manila fair follows a highly successful staging of TST Cebu last March at the SM City Cebu, offering 8,404 applicants from the Visayas and Mindanao a total of 8,598 jobs from 131 employers-exhibitors.

Supported by Smart Communications, Mercury Drugstore and media partners ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin, this annual event is the country’s only tourism-focused job fair.

Durano said fresh graduates, including the unemployed from other industries who are considering a career shift, could join the TST Manila by pre-registering online at members can use their existing log-in ID and password to pre-register for the event. Other applicants may create an online resumé or attach a Word document file of their resumés.

Participating in TST 2009 are DOT-accredited local and foreign-based employers such as airlines, shipping/cruise companies, hotels, resorts, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, convention and exhibition centers, spa and wellness establishments, recruitment firms, golf clubs, malls and department stores, call centers and business process outsourcing companies, banks, schools, government agencies, and entertainment outfits, among many others.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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