By Arra B. Francia
HILTON WORLDWIDE Holdings, Inc. is on the lookout for more partnerships with hospitality institutions in the Philippines, as it seeks to develop more talents to serve the growing tourism industry in the country.
The global hospitality firm sees a need to enhance the talent pool in country to accommodate the projected influx of tourist arrivals in the coming years. Citing government data, the company said international arrivals grew by 10.96% to 6.6 million in 2017, and is further expected to rise in the next 10 years from top spending markets such as Korea, the United States, and China.
With this, Hilton is looking to take advantage of the opportunities in the hospitality sector.
“We are always committed to nurturing and developing talent across the country, especially among young people. Our goal is to impact at least one million young people by 2019, and we strive to connect, prepare, and employ these talents, such as through alliances with schools,” Hilton Vice President for Human Resources for Asia-Pacific Brendan Toomey said in an e-mailed response to questions sent by BusinessWorld.
“We conduct training sessions and bring on board interns and management trainees from these school alliances, and are on the lookout for suitable partners in the Philippines,” Mr. Toomey added.
Hilton noted comprehensive training is essential in delivering value service to their guests. For this, the company has several initiatives to ensure that each member undergoes comprehensive training, including the Management Trainee Program, Asia Pacific Elevator Program, and E3 Leadership Development Curriculum.
The Management Trainee Program is an 18-month program in Southeast Asia, Japan, and India where youths who want broader operational exposure but do not have any hospitality experience can be trained for 18 months.
The Asia Pacific Elevator Program is for those aspiring to become general managers, and are deployed in the Operations, Commercial, Finance and Human Resources functions. Trainees are also rotated to properties in two countries to broaden their perspectives on various cultural contexts.
Meanwhile, the E3 Leadership Development Curriculum is described as a “globally harmonized framework for leadership development with three distinct tracks – Elevate, Engage and Excel, aligned with different career stages for our Team Members.”
“We are committed to helping (our team members) reach their full potential, so that they can deliver that renowned hospitality experience that is synonymous with our brands,” Mr. Toomey said.
Alongside the need to train more people for the hospitality sector, Hilton said the number of hotel rooms in Metro Manila are not enough to accommodate the large tourist numbers. Citing a study by Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services, Inc., the company said Metro Manila needs an additional 70,000 rooms for tourists.
Hilton has taken this as an opportunity to expand its presence in the country through the opening of Hilton Manila this October. The Hilton Manila expects to cater to the demand for business and leisure travelers, at the same time creating employment opportunities in the country.