Foreign tourists at the Temper of Literature (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Vietnam’s tourism sector should take measures to ensure its human resources are prepared for the formation of the ASEAN Community that allows the free flow of labourers in the hospitality industry, an official said.

Tran Phu Cuong from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said the tourism labour force needs to equip themselves with expertise, foreign language skills and other soft skills in order to compete with skilled and qualified workers from ASEAN member nations.

Domestic tourism training institutions should focus on enhancing the capacity of teaching staff while improving their curricula in order to meet the requirements of the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs).

Additionally, they should also review their teaching methods and strengthen international cooperation to ensure more relevant and effective training

According to Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Head of VNAT, roughly 600 vocational training teachers, including hospitality teaching staff, have been sent to Australia for training.

Dr Nguyen Duc Tri from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics said the institution has fostered cooperation with universities from the Netherlands, France and Switzerland to learn from their training experience and improve the quality of teaching.

It has also applied a hands-on and internship training method to ensure more relevant training services.

The tourism sector has been developing a set of Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standards (VTOS) to ensure Vietnamese labourers are qualified to be employed by enterprises from ASEAN or even Europe.

According to Tran Hung Viet, General Director of Saigontourist, the VTOS has created opportunities for Vietnamese labourers to enter the international labour market.

Numerous Vietnamese labourers have worked as receptionists and in customer services at high end cruise ships and hotels run by international enterprises, Viet said.

However, the average quality of domestic tourism workforce remains low, with just 57 percent able to use foreign languages.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Once formed, the ASEAN Community will create a market of more than 600 million people with a combined GDP of more than 2 trillion USD.-VNA