Vietnam should accelerate the implementation of the national tourism occupational skills standards (VTOS) in order to increase the tourism sector’s competitiveness on the eve of the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, delegates said at a conference in Hanoi on December 3.

Ambassador Franz Jessen, head of the European Union delegation in Vietnam, said that the VTOS, built with the assistance from the EU, Vietnamese tourism training establishments would be equipped better to train a young work force, meeting the increasing demand in Vietnam’s growing tourism sector.

At the conference, experts in the industry highlighted the importance as well as benefits of the VTOS. Built in 2007 and revised in July this year, the set of standards will help Vietnam get ready for implementing the ASEAN’s Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP).

The MRA-TP will facilitate the mobility of tourism professionals in ASEAN, thus contributing to the development of the tourism industry of the ASEAN Community in general and Vietnam’s tourism in particular, head of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Nguyen Van Tuan, said.

The conference is the first of its kind discussing the implementation of the VTOS in line with the MRA-TP. It was co-organised by the EU-sponsored ‘Programme for Developing Tourism Capacity Associated with Environmental and Social Responsibilities’ Project and Euro Cham Vietnam.

A similar event will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 5.-VNA