The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism last week officially opened the country first National College for Tourism, a long awaited institution to teach relevant hospitality and tourism courses to provide skills to young Tanzanians wishing to join the sector. This development augments the existing private vocational training institutions and courses at university level. Tourism, a growth industry across the region, requires well trained personnel and while many existing privately owned colleges and schools offer study places, often allegedly of inferior quality producing graduates subsequently rejected by employers for lack of practical skills, those in demand regional institutes like the Kenya Utalii College, renowned for its quality education, lack the capacity to admit more students.
The unfolding grading and classification exercise across the region is also thought to spur investment in better trained staff and in house as well as external training, as the quality and experience of staff are a crucial part of the catalogue of criteria for awarding star ratings to hotels, resorts, safari lodges and camps and restaurants. The new college is reported to seek admission soon to the Association of Hotels Schools in Sub Saharan Africa, in short AHSSA, under which most leading public and private institutions are coming together to cooperate in harmonizing their curriculum and their course contents as well as examination standards, thus providing internationally recognizable Certificates and Diplomas attained under the same strict guidelines. The institute will provide for as many as 600 students to be enrolled and study at the same time.