This initiative is part of the programme’s partnership with four selected Indonesian polytechnics – each focusing on a different subsector of the maritime industry.
Held on 17 November—both virtually on Zoom and physically in Manado, the capital city of the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi—the launch saw the attendance of nearly 90 participants representing the programme’s provincial, national and international counterparts.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Sulawesi had benefited from an increasing number of international tourists, drawn to its unspoiled maritime beauty, especially dozens of popular diving spots around Bunaken Island.
The partnership with Polimanado focuses on marine tourism with a specific emphasis on developing entrepreneurship skills through local communities, said SfP-Indonesia Chief Technical Advisor Mary Kent.
Through the programme, Polimanado will begin its journey to becoming a local Centre of Excellence for lifelong learning and employer engagement, acting as an anchor institution for tourism skills development within the region"Mary Kent, SfP-Indonesia Chief Technical Advisor
Polimanado Vice Director on Academic Affairs Mareyke Alelo emphasised at the event that this partnership will do much to empower the polytechnic to make positive constructive contributions to the region’s development of tourism management.
SfP-Indonesia is part of the Skills for Prosperity Programme; the UK global flagship initiative. Dan Montgomery-Hunt, representative of the British Embassy in Jakarta, shared at the launch event the UK’s experience of helping governments around the world improve their skills development efforts to prepare their labour force for the future of work as well as reduce inequality.
He urged the participants to take the lessons learned through this programme in Manado and work together with policy makers aiming for further development strategies.
Henry Kaitjily, head of the Tourism and Culture Office of North Sulawesi, emphasised a need for all stakeholders-- especially local government agencies --to strengthen the maritime industry in the region to capitalise on its high potential for tourism.
He also highlighted that North Sulawesi has become an international tourism destination since the 1980s, and in 2019 welcomed around 155,000 foreign tourists. All the diving sites have been well-maintained, he said, due to local people’s preservation efforts.
Bringing UK and international expertise in maritime tourism development to Manado is one of the programme’s objectives.
Guest speaker Clair Greenaway, cultural events expert and academic course leader for International Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Gloucestershire, told the participants that the impact of COVID-19 on global tourism shows the need for innovation and new thinking.
There is an opportunity to explore new approaches to developing tourism infrastructures and supporting the growth of a professional tourism skillset"Guest speaker Clair Greenaway
“There is an opportunity to explore new approaches to developing tourism infrastructures and supporting the growth of a professional tourism skillset,” she added.