11:10 | 06/06/2017 Society
(VEN) - A recent panel of tourism and hospitality experts stressed the importance of community involvement and education for the long term, sustainable development of Vietnam’s tourism industry.
Entitled A Bright Future for Vietnam's Tourism Industry: Opportunities for Growth and Lessons from Competing Nations in the Mekong Region, the panel discussion aimed to make Vietnam’s tourism industry more competitive in the region.
Chief Operations Officer for Trails of Indochina Mr Rob Rankin emphasised the need for a long term masterplan to ensure the benefits of tourism remain sustainable.
“For community-based tourism to work, it needs to be planned well,” he said, citing Sapa as an example of a community that has been negatively affected by tourism because of a lack of a masterplan.
Mr Rankin believes collaboration between industry, government and the community is needed to ensure all parties benefit in the long term.
Executive Director TM Group Ms Pascale Herry said she highly appreciated tourism activities which contributed to the local economy, whether that be through stable employment and income-earning opportunities or through education opportunities.
Ms Herry also noted that the lack of high quality human resources for the sector is a major challenge, adding that education needs to be refreshed for the sustainable development of the industry.
RMIT Vietnam lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management Ms Cherry Sriratanaviriyakul addressed the shortage of supervisors, middle management, and upper management level in the sector.
“In our research on tourism education, we found that only 3.2 percent of people working in tourism in Vietnam have a higher education degree,” she said. “That means we do have some skilled workers but they need more training. Education and training in Tourism and Hospitality will not only bring up service quality standard but also show people how to grow in a sustainable way.”
A similar discussion will be organised in Hanoi on Wednesday 7 June with the presence of leading industry and academics in this sector. The event is free of charge and open to public.
The event co-organisers include RMIT University Vietnam, Travel Massive, Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, and Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.
According to the General Department of Tourism, more than ten million foreign tourists visited Vietnam in 2016, and the
number in the first five months of 2017 has increased by 29.6 percent compared with the same period in 2016.
According to Resolution No. 08-NQ / TW, released by the Politburo on 16 January 2017, tourism development is a
leading-edge economic sector, and human resource development is one of the core solutions to help solve the industry’s