High quality human resources essential to a sustainable tourism industry

VIETNAM, August 11 – Bồ Xuân Hiệp

HCM CITY – As tourism continues to recover, the hospitality and tourism industry is suffering from difficulties in recruiting qualified human resources after the pandemic, industry players have warned.

Speaking at a seminar on Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, director of the Tourism Development Research Institute, said there was a lack of high-quality personnel in the ‘industry.

Vũ Thế Bình, president of the Việt Nam Tourism Association, said human resources were a weak point in the industry even before the pandemic.

“Efficient, hardworking and resourceful human resources are the backbone of any successful business. This is even more true in the case of the hotel industry.

Successful hotel operations are supported by customer-oriented and hard-working employees who have the right skills, he added.

A large number of hotels and resorts went out of business during the two-year pandemic, and coming back could prove difficult, he said.

Unattractive career

Dr. Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, director of the Tourism Development Institute, said working in hotels is characterized by long hours, low pay, instability and low status, which makes it unattractive as a choice. careers.

As a result, the sector continues to suffer from high staff turnover and difficulties in recruiting qualified personnel.

He said it was important to ensure a better work-life balance for employees and that companies should have supportive policies for recruiting workers.

“Retaining key employees is critical to the long-term success of any business,” he said.

Hotel staff work especially hard on days when the rest of the world is enjoying vacations again after two years of the pandemic.

Dr. Nguyễn Quyết Thắng, director of the Faculty of Tourism, Catering and Hospitality Management at HCM City University of Technology, said it was important to focus on vocational training in tourism , which is missing in Việt Nam.

“We need to improve the quality of students graduating from vocational training institutions,” he said. “We should also be more flexible in policies to allow students to gain higher skills and move on to other areas, especially foreign languages.”

In the longer term, Thắng expects better career guidance for parents and students before entering school.

Hotels should work closely with training institutions to recruit long-term or short-term workers for their operations.

Paul Stoll, CEO of Imperial Hospitality Group, said that to maintain tourism growth, Việt Nam needs to address both short-term and long-term challenges by developing skilled human resources.

To improve the quality of human resources in the industry, he recommended that training centers move towards training that is closely related to job requirements and more practice-oriented.

The ultimate objective is to meet the expectations of tourists in terms of equipment and services according to international standards.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thủy, general manager of Silk Path Hotel Hà Nội, said many hotels are now rushing to hire staff for their human resources needs.

“In the past, only lucky young people could get jobs in good hotels, but now they can both study and get paid,” she noted. “This trend is expected to continue given the current shortage of human resources in the hospitality industry.”

Cao Thị Tuyết Lan, CEO of the travel agency Viettours, said that to recover the international tourism market, the tourism industry in Việt Nam had to face the lack of human resources. After two years of the pandemic, high demand has severely overburdened the infrastructure of the tourism industry.

Lan said, for example, that recently 600 customers on a MICE tour failed to check in on time at an international five-star hotel in HCM City. The hotel representative said that the reason for the late check-in is not because the rooms are full, but because there are not enough staff to make up for the rooms.

Cityland Education board member Patrick Basset said the tourism sector needs about 40,000 workers every year. But around 70% of workers have been laid off or moved to other industries during two years of pandemic restrictions, creating a huge labor shortage.

Global problem

Bùi Thị Ngọc Hiếu, deputy director of the Department of Tourism, said the lack of human resources in tourism, especially in the hotel industry, is a global problem, and Việt Nam is no exception.

It’s a long-standing problem at HCM City and has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, she added.

HCM City is a leader in training people for tourism and has 24 universities, 20 colleges and 19 vocational schools. More than 12,000 people graduate each year, meeting about 60% of the demand, according to Hiếu.

In addition to a shortage of human resources, a shortage of infrastructure and strict visa policies have hampered the recovery of the industry. Việt Nam was unable to meet the target of five million international arrivals this year due to these challenges, experts said.

Domestic visitor numbers exceeded 71.1 million in the first seven months against an annual target of 60 million. During the same period, there were only 733,000 international visitors, 8% of the number before the pandemic. —VNS

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