A Franchise of Canadian Tourism College from Vancouver

2nd Floor Paragon Plaza, Edsa cor. Reliance St.
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Training a Five-Star Cast for Tourism











Philippine Daily Inquirer

Why study for four years? This is a question the folks behind the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (CTHI) like to ask.

They are referring to students who spend four years in college, only to end up jobless. The CTHI counteroffer is job-oriented training for two years or less.

Samie Lim, CTHI president, admits there are already too many tourism schools in the country. “But there’s little genuine professional training,” he says. “Despite their four-year degrees, our graduates do not meet the personnel needs of resorts, hotels, restaurants, even cruise ships in the travel and tourism industry.”

At 62, Lim has turned his attention to tourism education. Well, maybe that’s not quite accurate. His heart seems to be entrenched in franchising still because, one, CTHI holds a franchise from the Canadian Tourism College (CTC) Vancouver and, two, he plans to franchise CTHI all over the Philippines, particularly in places that are hot tourist destinations, such as Boracay and Cebu.  So there you go—franchising again.

“I’m an advocate at heart,” he says.  For years, he pushed and he pushed and he pushed until small and medium entrepreneurs heeded his advice to franchise out their businesses.  His efforts earned him the title “Father of Philippine Franchising.”

Then he added tourism to his list of advocacies. Wherever and whenever he had a chance, he would talk to CEOs about investing in the travel and tourism industry. Airlines, for example. Today, he notes with pleasure, the country has Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Air Philippines and Seair in addition to Philippine Airlines.

Lim has a tourism business template that originally consisted of the five elements of the tourism supply chain—arrival, access, accommodations, attractions and activities—but now includes two more: advertising and academic linkage.

“We need to have these things in place before we can even plan on increasing the number of tourist arrivals,” he says. “We don’t just need five-star hotels. We need five-star workers. We want qualified people working in airlines, cruise ships, hotels, restaurants, resorts—all those places that are meant for tourists.”

He acknowledges that Filipinos are already good-natured and hospitable and, with fine-tuning in the form of expert training, they can be leading players in the global tourism market as executives.

To put emphasis on “qualified,” Lim himself got a group of friends together to form the CTHI. On top of that, he worked his tails off trying to secure the CTC Vancouver franchise because, he says, he looked in the travel market and found the Canadian school to be among the best in providing professionally trained personnel.

A private college established in Canada in 1980 to provide diplomas and certificates in the hospitality, tourism, airline and adventure programs, CTC was hesitant to come to the Philippines, according to Lim.  But at the recent formal launch of CTHI, the two women presidents of the CTC campuses in Vancouver and Surrey were both present. Gwen Donaldson and Kim Russell had learned one lesson.  Samie Lim does not take no for an answer. After all, he is the same man who brought the US-based Certified Franchise Executive program into the country.

CTHI has a continuous enrollment scheme. This means you don’t have to wait for the start of the semester to get your training. In fact, they have modular classes going on every month.

Throughout the year, CTHI offers job-specific modules on coffee appreciation, coffee brewing, cocktail mixing and advanced waiter training. In one afternoon, for example, you can learn how to make latte concoctions that look too good to sip. If you’re interested in tending bar, check out CTHI’s training on mixing drinks. Big restaurants have been sending their waiting staff to CTHI for advanced professional training.

Very focused and specialized diploma, certificate or advanced professional courses began in June.  CTHI certificate courses are in hotel sales and marketing, front office operations, food and beverage services, bar operations, barista operations, professional housekeeping and adventure tourism. It also has courses for those interested to be airline customer service representatives, flight attendants or travel agents. These courses are packaged with internships at leading hotels, restaurant chains, convention facilities and the like.

If you prefer a diploma, you can take up hospitality and resort management; travel and tourism management; hospitality and tourism management; or hospitality cruise management. CTHI also offers advanced professional courses in hotel sales and marketing, hotel management and restaurant management.

Then there is the advanced five-star waitstaff program for three weeks for people who are already experienced waiters but want to better their skills to qualify for employment in international hotel chains or fine dining restaurants.

“We have resort management, cruise ship and airline courses. We even have adventure tourism,” says Lim.  “We cover everything except the kitchen. We don’t do culinary.”

What he eventually wants to do is partner with leading universities for the general education courses so their students can get educated for life, not just for a job.  But for now, he says, many Filipinos cannot afford to pursue an education for an extended period of time.  “They want short-term, intensive training that will lead to a job, and that’s what we offer.”

His other plans include franchising out the expertise of CTHI to other Asian tourist destinations. Already, he says, there are inquiries from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

2nd Floor Paragon Plaza, Edsa Cor. Reliance St., Mandaluyong City | Tel. (+632) 451-1657/ (+632) 451-1642
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