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Deficient hospitality workforce challenges tourism

Update: June, 22/2013 - 09:22

DA NANG (VNS)— A lack of trained human resources and entertainment and recreation services was likely to challenge Da Nang's target of welcoming 4 million tourists with a revenue of US$409 million by 2015.

The news was announced by director of the city's culture, sports and tourism department Ngo Quang Vinh at a conference yesterday.

"The city has 335 hotels with 11,400 rooms, but only 40 per cent of the 14,000 staff working in the tourism and hospitality sector are actually qualified," Vinh said.

The city's tourism sector currently lacks around 10,000 workers, while a system of 12 colleges and vocational centres are only capable of training around 5,000 students a year.

"With 12 five-star and four-star hotels and resorts, Da Nang needs international standard tourism education centres, but the city has yet to establish one," he said.

The city plans to increase the number of hotels and resorts to 429 with 15,700 rooms by 2015, so it needs around 20,000 new staff in the tourism sector.

"We have to train in kitchen skills, housekeeping, front desk and food & beverages. Senior staff will train newcomers and they will gradually develop the necessary skills," said Truong Ngoc Thanh, a communications officer at the Furama Resort.

"It would be easier for us if the city develops an international standard hospitality training centre, and we wouldn't have to spend much on our training programmes," he explained.

The city's tourism association in co-operation with the Centre for Swiss Education and Swiss Hotel Association will launch a course to train an international standard hospitality workforce later this year.

The city, which has a 90km coastline, has yet to develop large nighttime entertainment centres, ocean parks or adventure tours to persuade tourists to stay longer in Da Nang.

"It's the reason that tourists prefer to stay in Hoi An or Hue, rather than Da Nang. Hoi An lures tourists with its old town and traditional culture, while Hue still preserves the ancient monuments of the century-old imperial city," Vinh added.

The city welcomed 1.5 million tourists in the first six months of the year and is on track to meet its annual target of 3 million visitors. — VNS


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