Nha Trang beach, a popular destination in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The tourism sector is focusing on developing high-quality human resources in order to become a spearhead economy.

The industry needs around 870,000 workers by 2020 and strives to record an annual growth of 7 percent between 2016 and 2020.

Its personnel demand is twice or three times higher than that of other key sectors like education, health care and finance.

In 2016, the country has around 156 training facilities, which annually provide 15,000 personnel for the market in comparison with a demand of 40,000 workers.

This is attributed to the shortage of skilled teachers at universities and colleges and an imbalance between theory and practice, experts said.

Director of Hanoitourism travel agency Luu Duc Ke said the Law on Tourism 2005 has only a few lines mentioning the development of human resources. In fact, it needs revision and adjustment to meet the social demand.

Pham Trung Luong from the Institute for Tourism Development Research suggested building a project to set up an international-standard Tourism Academy or Tourism University in Vietnam to train skilled workers.

Dean of the School of Tourism under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics Nguyen Duc Tri recommended businesses facilitate students’ apprenticeship and focus on quality, not quantity.

To improve the human resources quality, the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) has established a tourism training association to increase management capacity at training facilities as well as competitiveness of its members.

At a recent national conference on tourism development in the central province of Quang Nam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc required tourism departments at universities and colleges to improve training quality.

He urged the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Training to recognise the national Tourism Occupation Standards and implement the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals.-VNA