Growth of the tourism industry has led to the rapid development of tourism education in China. The first Nanjing Tourism School was established in 1978, followed by Shanghai Tourism College the year after. According to the Chinese government statistics, there were only 27 higher education institutions offering hospitality and tourism programmes with 4800 students in 1986. However, the numbers have grown exponentially since then.
However, while the industry professionals consider the hardware contexts of hotels, restaurants, airports and transportation facilities to have met international standards, the software contexts, including employees’ service attitude, skills levels and language ability fail to meet expectations. The poor quality of service providers in China can be attributed to the lack of ambitious education and training strategies implemented by the government. The manpower supply from the current tourism institutions and vocational training schools fail to fulfill the growing demand for high quality service providers. The human resource issues are critical and they negatively affect the nation’s tourism development.
The existing tourism education system focuses on the supply of a workforce to meet industry needs’ and failed to place emphasis on the establishment of quality manpower critical of this service landscape. Therefore, it is important for the Chinese government to concentrate efforts and investment on the advancement of present tourism institutions in China. They should address tourism education and the training needs in line with the dynamic changes of the industry so as to expand and enhance the quality manpower for the industry and have continuing involvement for the tourism education development within the nation.
Participate in the upcoming QS Subject Focus Summit – “The Way Forward: Hospitality and Tourism Education Convergence with Industry 4.0” which will be held from 5-7 December 2018 in Kuching, Malaysia.