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Delta tourism sector lacks qualified staff

Mekong Delta tourism may need a total of nearly 210,000 workers by 2020, according to latest forecasts from the Institute for Tourism Development Research.

Delta tourism sector lacks qualified staff

A tour guide shows ornamental plants to foreign visitors at the Thoi Son Tourism Site in Tien Giang Province. The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta tourism sector may need nearly 210,000 workers by 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan

HA NOI (VNS)— Mekong Delta tourism may need a total of nearly 210,000 workers by 2020, according to latest forecasts from the Institute for Tourism Development Research.

Last year the region welcomed nearly 20 million visitors, including 1.6 million foreign arrivals, netting over VND4.3 trillion (US$204.7 million), accounting for 5 per cent of the country's total tourism revenue.

Mekong Delta Tourism Association deputy chairman Tran Dat Duy attributed the modest figures to not only the limited number of tourism products and poor infrastructure but also the quality of workforce.

Institute director Ha Van Sieu said the region's tour guides were not equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills, especially foreign languages and communication skills.

In addition, co-operation among tourism training establishments was not efficient and not many students chose to work in the tourism sector after graduating.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's deputy head of its representative office in HCM City Le Van Hung said it was necessary to diversify training methods, from short courses to long-term training.

Awareness of improving human resource management efficiency should be raised among local authorities.

To solve the shortage of workers, authorities should provide training to residents to take part in tourism promotion activities in their localities.

The training must satisfy the demands of tourism enterprises and enterprises should actively co-operate with schools and tour guide training centres to speed up the problem-solving.

The current 4,000 workers were not enough to serve the 10 million visitors that travel to the region every year, according to a report released in a seminar held in Can Tho City in April to discuss ways to promote tourism in the Mekong Delta region.

Regarding development orientations, Mekong Delta will enhance its tourism development in four key groups up until 2020, focusing on promoting all locality strengths in tourism products such as beach resorts, festivals, eco-tourism and cultural tourism.

The region comprising 12 provinces and one city covers an area of 40,000sq km with a population of 18 million. — VNS

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