The National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in cooperation with the Pacific-Asia Travel Association(PATA) has held a training programme to improve the competitive ability of small and medium tourism enterprises.

The two-day event aims to prepare enterprise and workers in the tourism sector for the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community slated for the end of this year.

The training focused on destination management, handicraft production and hotel management, using a set of standards recognised by all ASEAN member countries.

According to the PATA chapter’s General Secretary and Head of VNAT’s International Cooperation Department Dinh Ngoc Duc, the training programme is significant, particularly as the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) officially takes effect in 2015 allowing free movement of tourism workers between countries in the regional bloc.

Currently, a total of 1,456 enterprises have been licensed to operate in international travel nationwide while tens of thousands provide domestic tours. The country has 16,000 tourism accommodation units with over 332,000 rooms.-VNA