Lanith (Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality) captured the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow’s People Award 2014, for demonstrating excellence in the development of capacity building, training, and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future.
Lanith topped a field of international entrants, including co-finalists SA College for Tourism – Tracker Academy, South Africa and Central College Nottingham/The Institute of Travel & Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG), to bring home the award recognising sustainable tourism best practices in worldwide businesses and destinations.
“This award shows that Laos is on a solid, sustainable path towards building a strong travel and tourism industry through people, who deliver an international level of service quality,” said Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) Director General Mr. Nouphan Outsa, who thanked Luxembourg Development Cooperation for funding the establishment of Lanith.
“This prestigious WTTC award reflects Lanith’s core team’s determination and effort in transforming Laos into a first-class destination capable of performing on the global stage,” said Lanith Chief Technical Advisor Peter Semone, who along with Technical Expert, Education, Maeve O’Brien, accepted the award on Lanith’s behalf at WTTC’s 14th Global Summit in Hainan, China, on 24 April.
Lanith underwent a rigorous vetting process carried out by a panel of some 20 independent expert judges from around the world, and which included an independent Lanith on-site evaluation – a critical part of the Tourism for Tomorrow evaluation process that helps to explain why these awards are recognised and respected worldwide.
To win, Lanith demonstrated a broad commitment to the “Tourism for Tomorrow” principles in its programmes. Lanith showed how the curricula for its Passport to Success skills training regimen and two-year Lanith Diploma education coursework are largely based on industry needs, as seen in the project’s initial research, with interviews of hoteliers and tour operators, through implementing the two capacity-building streams.
Lanith showed how its Passport to Success menu of two-to-four day training modules, delivered in an awards-based format, and intensive Go for Gold course, effectively address industry needs, as seen through the participation of more than 1,000 hospitality business staff seeking a path to progress.
Likewise, Lanith Diploma coursework encompasses a substantial amount of hands-on training alongside lectures, with internships at Lao businesses playing a significant role in the education of career-minded students.
Lanith promotes the benefits of a career in travel and tourism through a variety of channels including its popular Facebook page, participation at job fairs, visits to secondary schools, scholarships, and through the media. The core teaching team receives an education abroad and is empowered to implement Lanith’s programmes.
Lanith also stands as a leader in Laos’ tourism industry by promoting best practices and communication among all stakeholders. UNIDO has established Lanith as the operating body for the Luang Prabang Safe and Green Tourism Scheme for best practices, and Lanith volunteered to take the lead role in certifying businesses which meet the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s global guidelines.
Lanith Quarterly Symposia invite international experts to address Laos’ travel issues and engage a local audience of hoteliers, restaurant owners, tour operators, NGOs, donors, and public-sector officials. Lanith communicates its actions via the media including the Vientiane Times, well-established regional publications, and global social media discussion groups.
The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow’s People Award 2014 follows the Pacific Asia Travel Association 2012 Grand Award for Education presented to Lanith for it Passport to Success skills training programme.
WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry, with chief executives of some 100 of the world’s leading travel and tourism companies as its members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to the travel and tourism industry.