The Canadian Tourism Human Resource
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In any part of the world tourism is a very dynamic sector that needs a lot of staff to succeed. Tourism needs people in all aspects of the tourist circuit and this poses an insatiable demand for the well trained personnel. In British Columbia, the human resource challenge brought about by dynamism is the fact that not many people working in the tourism sector have been specially trained. One may find a professional waiter taking on the duties of an usher when the demand arises. Some professionals are only needed when the demand arises and as such they result in taking on other jobs to fend for their families.
According to Tourism Industry advisory council. (2006) most of the tourists visiting British Columbia are people who have prior experience in tourism having visited other parts of the world. They tend to compare the services offered in British Columbia with those they experienced elsewhere. This comes in total disregard to the numerous new opportunities and experiences that the country has to offer. The human resource well conversant with the country is thus found to be wanting in the eyes of the frequent traveler.
Most of the people that work in the tourist attraction areas, in British Columbia have had no prior training in professional colleges. Rather, they have been trained on the job in the relevant institutions where they work. The human resource is rich in experience but lacks the fine touch that professional school training can offer. More and more establishments are beginning to value the training that comes with attending one of the few approved tourism colleges in the country.
There are a couple of international training colleges that offer various courses covering the hospitality and tourism sectors present in British Columbia that train students. However, due to the dependability on seasons of the tourism sector in the country, most of them end up finding work in foreign countries. This is because competition is more dynamic in foreign countries leading to better pay for the graduates. This is not good for the long run since the tourism sector will end up lacking professionally trained staff (Propel Industry Credentials, 2008).
There is also a large discrepancy in the employment numbers through the different sectors in the tourism industry. For instance, according to Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (2011) the accommodation services required more than 66,000 members of staff as compared to 43,500 in 2001. The problem with this growth pattern is that it is unstable and as such it can record substantial increases in some years and steep declines in the following years.
Another factor affecting the human resource in British Columbia is the inability for the sector to attract large numbers of talented individual to pursue careers in tourism and hospitality. This is mainly because the sector is still struggling and people look into pursuing strongly cemented careers that will guarantee success in both monetary and career growth aspects (McCallum, 2009).
The food and beverage sector attracts more employees than any other sector in the tourism circle. Preliminary data for 2001 shows that tourism related employment in British Columbia stood at 14% of the overall employment in British Columbia. The rates have increased over the years to stand at 18% in the year 2009 (Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, 2011 and The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and Capilano College, 2001)). This is evidence of the growth in the tourism thus it is important for the industry players to ensure that their establishments are ready to cater for the growing numbers. Tourism has also continued to attract tourists into British Columbia increasing at a rate of 11% in the last decade (BCJobs.ca , 2010). The larger numbers of these tourists are those who are attracted into the country for adventure tourism activities like skiing and golf. These are occasional adventurers who in turn require part time staff to take care of their needs during these times. The tourism sector thus has to be flexible enough to accommodate these needs (Industry Canada, n.d). Projections have shown that employment in this sector is likely to reach 37,700 by 2012 and increase by a further 10,600 through to the year 2020. The annual employment growth rate is projected at 4.2%, though this figure is slightly below the growth rate experienced in this sector during much of the early 2000 (Go2, n.d.). The projections show numbers well above employment growth rates for other areas of tourism related industries.
In conclusion, it is important for the industry players to take into account the different needs of tourists who frequent British Columbia and adjust accordingly (Kootenay Rockies, 2007). This will ensure that the current human resource remains employed and relevant in the sector if the tourists keep coming. Tourism is a very viable sector the world over and the staff in this sector need to be well taken care of to ensure that they remain in British Columbia to serve within it own boundaries (Victoria, 2006).
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