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Designing Agile Hospitality and Tourism Education in the 21st Century

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A look into the meaning of the word from an article in Google describes agile as “flexibility” mostly referred to, in recent times, with methodology in software development and in the IT industry for almost two decades now.

“Despite being adopted by nearly every other industry, the hospitality industry has mostly ignored it”. AAHRMEI has taken the relevant step to address the issue with yesterday’s session. Dr. Marilen Pablico, this year’s GMM Chair opened the session by laying down the premise upon which our theme revolves. Through the lens of our keynote speaker, Dr. Virginia Akiate, we learned about the importance of the hospitality industry which adheres to the following philosophy she called AMAZING:

A – Acknowledge the presence of the Almighty
M – management of time, attitude, discipline and resources.
A – attitude and aptitude both positively embraced
Z – “zip your mouth” by knowing how to restraint self from uttering unpleasant remarks which may hurt others, better yet be respect other people.
I – inspire other people (motivation and thoughts)
N – “No man is an island”, which highlights our inter-connectedness in the age of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
G – “Go out and Share your talents” (Go and grow).

Prof. Jesse Francis Rebustillo tackled the agility dimension in talent development. The keys for developing talent include: Role Modelling, Reinforcement of the value of learning, Building sustainable processes to support development, Reinforcement of shared values and Leveraging problems as opportunities for real world learning and development.

The updates on the US International Practicum by Mr. Santi Dapul gave us a glimpse of an industry partner being agile in its approach by collaborating synergistically amongst players in the student-work immersion/cultural exchange programs. Mr. Rolando Caňizal provided specific agile measures in technology and in digital innovation that affect the hospitality and tourism industry such as:

    • Power of Mobile Phones
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Closed computing Data Privacy and Security Use, and
    • General Data Protection Regulation.


The APPs in our digital devices, according to him, shape our means to communicate, and to do – help us to experience things which are important in the provision of services to our guests.

Dr. Gloria Baken Wong-Siy narrowed down our concerns as administrators and faculty members in designing programs of studies and student’s co-curricular activities in response to IR 4.0. As explained by Dr. Siy, IR 4.0 is the Fourth Industrial Revolution where future workers will need to be highly trained in emerging technologies, as importantly, in the values associated with using those technologies. According to her we need to train our students to know whether, when and where to use that technology. Alarming in the job opportunities that lie ahead in the 4th Industrial Movement are jobs that may disappear. These are jobs that we normally expect our student to occupy at entry levels – waiters, bartenders, travel agents, fastfood workers. In the light of conditions that we have been forewarned, we are challenged to retool our curriculum content in favor of skills that will be highly in-demand in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other similar emerging technologies.

Yesterday’s session stirred our consciousness and interest. Proof of this was on the lively discussions during the open forum. We pray and hope that Day 2 will likewise be as fun-filled and as worthy of our time and attention as yesterday was. Thank you!

Prof. Maria Elizabeth N. Villabroza
Assistant Secretary, AAHRMEI Board

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