SIHTM Hosts 8th International Tourism and Hospitality Students’ Convention

The 8th International Tourism and Hospitality Students’ Convention (ITHSC) kicked off with much excitement and enthusiasm from the students as they entered the Cordillera Convention Hall at Baguio Country Club. Hundreds of participants from all over the Philippines sat down for an enlightening series of talks from esteemed industry professionals who have had a hand in revolutionizing the hospitality and tourism industry towards a more sustainable future. The event also expanded its reach to international delegates, broadcasting the event via Zoom to make it accessible for students outside of the country.

“As we celebrate the marriage of technology and tourism, it is essential to recognize the importance of responsible and sustainable travel practices. Our exploration should not come at the cost of the environment, it is our collective responsibility to tread lightly on the earth, ensuring that our journeys leave behind a positive impact and conserve the beauty we seek to discover.”

– Message from Hon. Eric Go Yap, District Representative, Lone District of Benguet

This year’s program was organized by the School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management (SIHTM) faculty and students led by Dean Jenelyn Magpatoc and 8th ITHSC Chairman Ms. Rachelle Liclican. This year’s guests included Mr. Paul Pruangkarn, Chief of Staff of Pacific Asia Travel Association, chef Waya Araos-Wijangco, Proprietor of Gypsy Baguio by Chef Waya, Ms. Huaijin “Jane” Wu, Language Specialist, and Mr. Eunkyu “Nick” Chun, Youth Ambassador of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

The ITHSC has been going on for almost a decade. During its initial years, the convention acted as a stage for students to display their research, projects, and innovative concepts in tourism and hospitality. It offered a valuable chance for networking, collaboration, and professional growth, setting the stage for future achievements in the field.

As the convention gained traction and acknowledgment, its scope broadened to cover a wider array of subjects and activities. Workshops, panel discussions, guest speakers, and interactive sessions were added to offer attendees a holistic learning experience and insights into the most recent trends and advancements in the industry. Over the years, the convention has expanded significantly in size and reputation, drawing participants from around the world and gaining recognition from industry experts, academic institutions, and media platforms. It has evolved into a leading event in the tourism and hospitality calendar, renowned for its innovation, excellence, and dedication to advancing the industry.

“Digital technology has made the world closer and smaller and has made relatively distant places accessible at (a) finger’s touch through internet connectivity. But this convenience should be coupled with the innate desire to behave as responsible tourists, and you as the future leaders of tourism should inculcate that in your mind.

Suffice to say, such responsibility entails that we should be more sensible and should be more aware of the cultural sensitivities of the place.”

– Ms. Jovita Ganongan, Regional Director, Department of Tourism CAR

Today, the ITHSC continues to move forward, adjusting to the industry’s evolving needs while staying committed to its fundamental mission of empowering and motivating the next wave of leaders. It stands as a symbol of collaboration, passion, and commitment, offering a guiding light of hope and inspiration for students as they continue on their academic journey to become industry professionals in the tourism and hospitality sector.

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