HCMC needs more tourism workers

HO CHI MINH CITY, 19 May 2017: Vietnam’s National Administration of Tourism says Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism sector needs roughly 40,000 new workers each year.

Local media reported that according to the administration only 37% of requirement was met, last year, with 15,000 workers joining the sector and merely 12% of them educated to college level.

A college degree in tourism, however, does not guarantee that a worker can do the job according to education experts.

To tighten human resources skills, a proper training curriculum in tourism is needed according to Ho Chi Minh City University of Culture’s Tourism Faculty head, Mai Ha Phuong.

“The low training quality of tourism employees is caused by the lack of a proper training curriculum in tourism that is practical.”

Colleges and universities should develop a good tourism curriculum on their own, but they lack capable lecturers and management mechanisms, the head said.

Sai Gon University lecturer, Nguyen Thi Hong Trang, suggested educational institutions should develop a long-term strategy on raising the quality of lecturers.

“They (universities) have to force lecturers to do serious research, while at the same time, employing those with master and PhD degrees currently working for tourism enterprises to lecture on tourism skills.”

Inviting experienced employees of tourism companies to teach at universities is one way to raise training quality based on closer connections between educational institutions and tourism enterprises.

The city authorities should also devise policies to call for more co-operation from enterprises in tourism education and training, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology’s Tourism – Hotel Faculty head, Nguyen Quoc Thang, advised.

“The city should also work with the enterprises and the educational institutions to establish a committee on promoting tourism human resources to consult authorities on solutions to develop city tourism in general and tourism human resources in particular.”

The city’s tourism sector targets 5.5 million foreign tourists and 24 million domestic visitors, this year, with a total revenue of USD4.9 billion.

Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 5.2 million foreign tourists in 2016, a rise of 10% against 2015, and served 21.8 million domestic visitors, up 10% year-on-year.