Cooperation the key for tourism
  • | | August 19, 2010 03:25 PM

Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan has cited cooperation in training human resources for the local tourism industry as an urgent issue.

45% of local tour guides and operators do not meet the required standard of English ability.

The Deputy PM spoke at a seminar, titled “Training Human Resources for the Tourism Industry” held in Hanoi on August 17th.

According to a survey carried out by a Project on Developing Human Resources for the Vietnam Tourism Industry (EU Project), some 16,000 students are enrolling for intermediate courses at local technical secondary schools while universities and colleges are also training another 6,000 students in their tourism departments.

As such, the local tourism industry is supplied with about 22,000 new labours every year. However, many hotels and tourism companies are still complaining about the lack of good candidates for many of their vacancies. They cite low qualifications, inadequate experience or poor English skills as major problems of new graduates.

“Most of the colleges and universities in Vietnam are facing similar problems, namely; a lack of qualified teachers, improper syllabus’ which focus too much on theory without enough real practice and poor infrastructure,” stated director of Hanoitourist Travel Company Luu Duc Ke at the seminar. Ke suggested that besides upgrading infrastructure, improving teacher qualifications, or boosting international cooperation, tourism companies need to coordinate with schools to further-train their staff.

At Saigontourist Travel Service Company, regular training courses are held for their management teams with the assistance of some prestigious international training organizations. According to Tran Hung Viet, Vice-Director of Saigontourist, during the 2005-2010 period, they have trained over 600 current managerial staff and 121 of them have been sent to well-known universities in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, etc. “These courses have produced professional and high-quality staff for us,” he confirmed.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Van Luu, head of the Training Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, stressed that though Vietnam has few tourism universities, many foreign organizations are willing to invest in training the students here.

Early this year, the Luxembourg Government signed an agreement to grant a project “Enhancing the capacity of human resources for Vietnam’s Tourism Industry VIE/031.”

This is the Luxembourg Government’s fourth grant for the local tourism industry and all the previous projects ensured the industry’s targets of improving the syllabus, teacher’s capacity as well as infrastructure.

At present, the Tourism Department at Hanoi Open University is one of the best places in Vietnam for training management staff in the tourism industry. According to Nguyen Van Thanh, Vice-Director of the tourism department there, their success so far comes from the tight cooperation with tourism companies, foreign organizations and old students. “This cooperation gives our students a chance to practice their future job and improve their communication skills. Now all of our 300 graduates every year can easily find a suitable position and 80% of them can even find a job while studying here.”

Meanwhile, director of Hanoi Tourism College, Dinh Van Dang, proposed a need to link tourism colleges and universities through a club which will give them a chance to share experience, exchange syllabus’, assist one another in operations and more. “We named it the ‘Director’s Club’, said Dang, who is also head of the club. “I hope that this club will contribute greatly in training the human resources of our tourism industry.”

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