Round table in Romania

Round table in Constanta, Romania on 22 of May 2014
Organizer: Constanta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Shipping and Agriculture

At the event there were invited to participate representatives of local and regional educational institutions, Constanta County School Inspectorate, tourism employers and associations, National Tourism Authority, schools and training centers in tourism, companies in the field of HORECA. The event was attended by 25 people, representatives of public authorities and HORECA stakeholders, as well as implementation team members.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Ion Danut Juganaru, who presented the project RESPONS, and presentation of the national report on field research was made by Ms. Laura Tirziu.
Regarding the national report, the participants pointed out the number of respondents was small enough so that the results are sufficiently conclusive. Another proposal was made on the importance of getting aware of the legislative modifications by the managers of tourism units.

Conclusions from the survey in Romania:
– Human resource management is considered as very important for the company, as well as provision of safe and equal working conditions, development of human resources and provision of responsible and ecological workplaces;
– Over 50% of companies consider themselves competent in providing innovative services, such as “responsible workplace”, “equal working conditions” and “web 2.0”;
– For 70% of hotel keepers, web services 2.0 and safe working conditions are considered as very important for the company;
– For 63.6% of restaurants, offering certain flexible lunch programs and menus for vegans and celiac, healthy food and experiences, but also cooperation with local organizations and social initiatives are regarded as very important;
– In terms of innovative skills for the whole sample, we note that 76% of managers are considered proficient in adapting to a new business environment;
– Hotel managers are considered to be between beginners and competent in terms of intercultural management (2.8) and language skills (2.7) (meaning that these skills should be improved) but proficient in the other skills assessed;
– All the hotel managers consider themselves to be competent in terms of “adapting to a new business environment”, while 80% consider themselves to be competent in “Intercultural Management” and “ability to cooperate/ teamwork”;
– 60% of hotel keepers believe they are able to communicate properly in, at least, one foreign language, worldwide spread; while 40% answered they are beginners;
– Regarding restaurant managers’ competences, it is noticed they are considered to be proficient with all assessed innovative skills, except from “adapting to change” (3.63);
The main problems are connected with the practical stages which should last a longer period of time and a better cooperation with the trading companies.

In the meanwhile, according to the agenda, there were presented and analyzed professional profiles for “manager of small hotel ” and “manager of small restaurant” as well as the European Qualifications Framework.
Participants were asked to analyze the matrices with the learning outcomes for the two professions, in accordance with the requirements of the national occupational standards. Thus, they noted that the only restaurant manager “identifies the customers’ needs, requirements, expectations and preferences” and the hotel manager has competences only regarding any eventual complaints. For the hotel manager, detailing related to the unit of competency “Solving customer’s requirements” is not sufficient, but should be completed with the result of learning, “identify the customers’ needs, requirements, expectations and preferences.”
The participants also considered that, in a small hotel unit, the “reception desk” can take over the activity of marketing/reservations as well. Due to the current evolution of the tourists’ requirements, the participants pointed out the necessity to offer a minimum of meal supply services, namely having breakfast. To this effect, minimum competences will be necessary in this field. Thus, “the coordination of the specific accommodation department activities ”may be, either completed by another one, related to “Coordination of the food supply department specific activities”, or may be reformulated in a general manner ”Coordination of the specific hotel unit activities”.
The national occupational standard for restaurant manager is expressed in a “more” general manner. Even in case of occupation specific skills, one cannot find any reference to restoration, tourism, hospitality, etc., but they are all correct and absolutely necessary. A person who has the competencies described with the standard “restaurant manager” can always work in any type of service provider unit, related to all fields of activity, not just travel. Participants considered the competences should be presented in a general manner, as, when one utters something specific, excludes a lot of necessary competencies. As to “Controlling specific legal regulations” unit, it should not only concern environmental protection and emergencies. Consequently, the participants proposed to use as a learning outcome, the following: “Follow compliance with legal regulations.”