Tourism authorities have approved the Vietnam Tourism Occupational Skills Standards, the first of 10 job standards for the tourism sector.
The standards – Front Office (Version 2013) – were developed by the Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (ESRT) by foreign and Vietnamese experts as part of the Vietnam Human Resources Development in Tourism Project funded by the EU.
It is for use in travel businesses, by tourism training providers, and in evaluating students.
The Vietnam Administration of Tourism has tasked the ESRT with popularising the standards with tourism businesses and training institutions.
Following standards for the front office, those for nine others – onsite guidance, small and medium-sized enterprises, hotel management, tourist boat services, food and beverage services, housekeeping, food preparation, travel operations and travel agents, and tour operations — are expected to be rolled out by April.
The programme supports localities by providing basic equipment for tourism occupational skill training worth EUR300,000, of which EUR200,000 are meant for tourism colleges and the rest for community centers.
A list of five such colleges and 10 centers were approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and European Union in Vietnam last year.
The colleges are in Lao Cai, Son La, Nghe An, Gia Lai, and Kien Giang.
The task is expected to be completed by the end of March.
Expectation for more foreign visitors in 2014
According to the National Administration of Tourism (NAT) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), the tourism sector plans to receive 8 million international tourists, serve 37.5 million domestic tourists and earn VND230 billion (US$10.8 million) in 2014.
MCST has devised a plan for 2014, based on the strategy and the master plan on developing tourism to 2020, with a vision to 2030 and the national action plan on tourism in 2013-2020.
It will focus on improving tourism product and service quality, addressing the sector’s shortcomings and organizing successfully the National Tourism Year 2014 in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and other regional provinces, as well as preparing for the National Tourism Year 2015 in central Thanh Hoa province.It also plans to fulfill tourism development targets set for 2015 in 2014.
MCST has made a suggestion to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung about building a resolution to promote tourism in 2014-2020, which is expected to create a breakthrough in tourism development professionally.