The project speaks about the Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Service Sector with the goal of learning ICT discipline from various Asian Countries, learn from it, and apply it in our respective countries. This is a very healthy collaboration of ideas and efforts that will make Asia grow as one strong force.
The main objective of the workshop is to be able share and exchange information and experiences on the innovative use of ICT in the service sector for accelerated productivity growth and improvement in the quality and cost of services; and assess the impact of ICT on the service sector.
The other participating countries have a solid and progressive department and government units that are highly focused on productivity and ICT which is very unlikely in the Philippines. What was highlighted for each country was to capitalize on e-governance where systems have to be in place which should start from the government sector in order to push productivity and be of service to the people. Every staff of each department must have clear productivity output so that there is a clear progression in attaining a goal.
My objective is to be able to learn more about the ICT discipline and apply it in the Philippine Tourism industry, being a prominent service sector composed of Small Medium Enterprises.
The workshop had a broad overview of ICT sector covering various industries that did not really have a focused subject on tourism. However, the general outline is there in terms of building a solid ICT framework that will boost the productivity of the service sector.
The workshop was also a moment of enlightenment that validated the old project that I had in mind that will consolidate all the accredited tourism establishments in one central websites that will boost the growth of Philippine Tourism. This is actually what I presented during the workshop when we were asked to do an exercise.
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
There are 24 participants from 12 countries: Bangladesh (2), Cambodia (2), China (2), Fiji (1), Iran (6), Lao (1), Pakistan (1), Malaysia (2), Philippines (1), Sri Lanka (2), Thailand (2), and Vietnam (2);
SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY
The topics were very interesting which presented a total different outlook that stressed the points why the Service Sector Productivity is very important, ICT: Latest Trends, and Advance, Challenges and Opportunities, Role of ICT in the Service Sector and Barrier to use ICT, Web-based Tools for Service Sector, ICT for Performance Management, Techniques for Storage, Retrieval, Manipulation, Transmission, or Receipt of Digital Data and How to Carry out Diagnostic Survey to identify needs for ICT Application in an Organization and How to Deploy ICT Plan and Strategy Based on the Survey.
The delegates also did a Site Visit to the National Iranian Oil Production Distribution Company, the sole distributor of oil and gas in entire Iran. We were also given an orientation on the Iran’s Smart Fuel Card Project which was defined based on the application of Smart Card Technology to benefit both the Iranian government and its citizens in numerous ways such as follows:
– Better governance of the fuel distribution and consumption in the country.
– Substantial reduction of fuel smuggling out of Iran.
– Proper distribution of subsidies to people in need.
– Monitoring and control of petrol station operations.
– Management and control of fuel distribution in oil zones.
– Facilitation and reengineering fuel management by different reporting schemas, e.g. accounting, periodical/geographical profiles of consumption, etc.
– Servicing as the basis for introducing a new range of integrated electronic services to citizens.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
Having joined a pool of experts from neighboring countries, it made me realize that the sense of productivity and ICT topics are such a top priority that will gage the success rate of every company or government sector. It was also noted that based on the presentation of one speaker that Asians are hardworking people, extending long hours of work as compared to the United States. However, if you compare the productivity rate of the United States, it is much higher in Asia. What does it tell us? Long hours of work are not a direct testimony of hard work. Strategies has be in place by building a solid framework of ICT that will organize the files of the entire company and government sector and make the output faster. It is not a cheap investment though but there is no other way and everybody’s looking into that direction already most especially for the upcoming ASEAN Integration in 2015.
The entire workshop did not speak about tourism but the framework and theories that will build the growth of the industry was met.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS
The action plan is to be able to share the knowledge and apply some of the learning skills to my immediate company and organization.
Given the new insights that I learned, it is my earnest goal to be able to share this knowledge in order to create awareness and appreciation about the potential of ICT on the productivity of every company and government sector that will contribute to the growth of the tourism that will engineer economic development.
I shall mobilize this with the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) where I am a key trainer of Integrated Marketing Communications on 4P Seminar that stands for PHILTOA Partnering for Progress and Professionalism. Moreover, I will also be an educational speaker on ICT as we conduct a National Tourism Forum by first week of September at SMX which will be attended by private and government units in partnership with the Management Association of the Philippines where we shall cover the Asean Integration for 2015.
The entire experience made me share my dream for Philippine Tourism which is to have a central website that will be a collaborative effort between government and private stakeholders that will unify the beauty of the Philippines and at the same time push the level of productivity of both parties. Please find the presentation, as attached.
The specific action point for this is to conduct a presentation with the Department of Tourism together with our association, the Philippine Tour Operators Association.
CELLA ROSE GARCIA
Public Relations Officer
Philippine Association of Tour Operators