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increase in international tourists in Asia Pacific region in 2014


increase in the intake of culinary students over the past five years


number of different nationalities at the Le Cordon Bleu Australia


n 2012 more than a billion international tourist arrivals were reported globally by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – the first time the statistic had hit 10 figures. Emerging economies were notable for their rising tourism figures, with countries in the Asia-Pacific region registering a 7% growth compared to the previous year. The figures continue to break records with the UNWTO 2014 year-end total of international tourists estimated at 1.1 billion and a 5% growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Future development

The growing role of global tourism and the hospitality industry in Asian economies is highly significant. To address the tourism boom, employers in Asia’s hospitality and tourism industry must build a larger workforce. In anticipation, Asian students are developing an appetite for culinary and hospitality education. Derrick Casey, chief operating officer of Le Cordon Bleu Australia says: “We have seen increases in student enrolments over the past few years, as students seek high-quality programmes that fulfil their need to develop a career in this industry.” Casey observes that growth in hotels and other hospitality venues has continued in Asia and most of the world, particularly in developing economies that see tourism as an important part of their future development, both in terms of jobs and international revenue generation. This in turn drives more students to consider hospitality as a career as they see increasing prospects for employment. While Le Cordon Bleu’s (LCB) original campus in Paris is oversubscribed, the prestigious culinary institute now has campuses around Europe, the Americas,

Oceania and Asia. According to Casey, the breakdown of students in Asia-Pacific varies by country: “The most diverse range of nationalities are found in our Australian schools, where we have up to 70 different nationalities across all programmes. But this is typical for most universities and colleges in Australia, as it is an attractive destination for international students. In other Asian countries where LCB has a school, the majority of their students are normally local.”

Adding to existing campuses in

Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia, Le Cordon Bleu president André Cointreau signed with the Ateneo de Manila University in 2013 to establish the Ateneo-Le Cordon Bleu Institute in the Philippines, with plans for its first degree in restaurant entrepreneurship this year. The Philippines is a natural choice for a new LCB campus in Asia, given its emerging economy, the boom in tourism and the interest in hospitality courses among Filipinos seeking employment abroad. So many culinary schools sought to address this demand that the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines (CHED) put a moratorium on new courses in hotel and restaurant management in 2010. But four years later, CHED lifted the moratorium, following the continuous recruitment of previous graduates to the tourism industry in the Philippines and abroad.

Skills standard With a goal of attracting 20 million foreign tourists, the Philippines needs about five million additional workers to

address the 1:1 worker per tourist ratio the UNWTO is using. One solution is the opening of specialised colleges such as the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (CTHI), which offers short courses in areas such as food and beverage, housekeeping, restaurant management, waiter training, front-office operations, and sales and marketing. In an interview with Manila Bulletin, CTHI president Samie Lim said he recognised the need to improve hospitality colleges in the Philippines.


has been a gradual, but

steady, increase over the past five years”

Lim pointed out there are over a thousand colleges in the country offering tourism courses, including culinary and English language courses. Most, though, do not observe the international standards needed to secure students jobs after graduation. Lim stated that CTHI aims to be the centre of training in Asia. Similarly, the Australian company Site Group International established Clark Education City (now Site Skills Training) in 2009 to train workers in hospitality, later expanding to health care and industrial courses. In 2011, the 30,000-square-metre Philippine campus attracted 400 students seeking international employment, many coming from India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Travelling students In Singapore, Margaret Heng, chief executive of the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (Shatec), founded

in 1983, has also noticed a growth in admissions: “There has been a gradual, but steady, increase of 10% in the intake of culinary students over the past five years.” While the students are predominantly Singaporean, she notes a slight increase in

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