People 1st have released the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the travel and tourism industry. The Sector Skills Council’s standards have placed more of an emphasis on business tourism due to a recent increase in business travel. “The travel industry is witnessing a dramatic change in the way its products are developed and disturbed,” said Ian Reynolds, Chief Executive ABTA.
Over the last ten years, the amount of business travel has increased by 53% and the annual income for business tourism is £53 billion, which makes it a quarter of all tourism industry. Despite this, the UK’s market is declining, but People 1st hopes their report which emphasizes additional skills training will help the ailing market. “These standards and the qualifications that will follow, really do represent an opportunity for employers in travel and tourism industries to raise levels of professionalism,” said Brian Wilson, CEO of People 1st.
In addition to business travel, the standards, which are released every five years, include updated information for leisure travel, and guiding and tourism operations, both head office and resort relations. The NOS also outlined standards for those working in the industry. Traditionally in the travel industry, national occupational standards provide ideas for good practice within the trade. These standards can provide information to individuals regarding what they need to know and understand to carry out their work. Standards can also provide information on what is expected in employment and can be used for recruiting and retraining. Employers operating their own in-house training schemes can request their programmes to be mapped around new standards. “In both the business and leisure sectors, the emphasis is on the added value travel companies can bring,” Reynolds said. “We welcome the new Occupational Standards and are confident that they will form a sound basis for the future vocational qualifications in our industry.”
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