Polytechnics Mauritius Ltd (PML) signed yesterday at MITD House in Phoenix a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of tourism and hospitality with HTMi (Hotel & Tourism Management Institute), Switzerland. On the same occasion the logo of PML was unveiled.

The MoU was signed by Professor Theeshan Bahorun, chairperson of PML and Mr Ian Larmour, Managing Director, HTMi, Switzerland, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun.

In her address Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun expressed confidence that the agreement will lead to very meaningful exchanges and a win-win situation for both parties. It opens the door for working sessions at the Montagne Blanche Polytechnic campus where both PML and HTMi will operationalise the partnership, she said.

It is necessary to keep in mind the importance for practice-based immersion through traineeships, internships and placements for this is what will make the real difference for students who complete the Polytechnic education and will come out with proven and tested skills to face the world of work , said the Minister.

Speaking about tourism and hospitality, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun recalled that the sector represents a central pillar of the economy, adding that over the last 30 years the number of tourists who visited Mauritius have considerably increased and the country is making a huge progress in that field.

According to forecasts the tourism sector is expected to grow further at a yearly rate of 5% up to 2020. On that score it is important to ensure that this growth is judicious, particularly given that the United Nations has designated last year as the International year of sustainable tourism for development, the Minister pointed out.

As regards PML, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun observed that its primary raison is to bridge the skills mismatch and address the middle management gap in Mauritius. Therefore, polytechnic education will have to be a flexible one to suit and match the development of the country and it is important to redefine and redesign courses in such a way which match the interests of the country, she added.

For his part Prof Bahorun recalled that a first meeting was held with HTMi a few weeks ago to chart the needs of PML with regard to the tourism sector. HTMi will no doubt give a boost to the Mauritian economy in terms of tourism development, he said. The launching of a diploma in tourism management is in the pipeline and will include focus areas such as spa and golf management to cater for and meet the ever-evolving needs of the tourism sector, he said.

Mr Ian Larmour, gave an overview of HTMi as a leading hotel and management institute in the world and a very ranking institute for hospitality and tourism. He said he was delighted to help Mauritius Polytechnics open a campus to provide young people training to work in the tourism and hospitality industry, not only at staff level but also at management level and help the economy and the education sector altogether to attain success.

The Honorary Consul General of Switzerland, Mr Adrian Wehrli, highlighted that the tourism industry is well developed in Switzerland and the country has one of the best schools in the world. The fact that the Swiss hotel school is coming to Mauritius represents a great opportunity for all Mauritians involved in the tourism industry as well as students who will benefit from PML courses in the field, he pointed out.

Source: Government of Mauritius