This is an activity as part of the European Union funded “Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (ESRT)” in its Vocational Education and Training component.
The purporse of this National Tourism TNA is to provide a better understanding about the current status of Vietnam Tourism’s Human Resources while at the same time helping to identify new and emerging skills areas that tourism industry should adopt in order to meet the expectations of tourists.
The focus of the TNA was very much on understanding future skill requirements, both within the existing workforce in the public and private sectors and in those areas which are becoming increasingly important as growth areas within Vietnamese tourism.
Jointly organised with the support from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Districts of Culture, Sports and Tourism, TNA was conducted in 63 provinces throughout the country, among which in-depth surveys were implemented in 12 provinces. Surveys covered sectors of accommodation, tour operator, tourism school/university and state tourism administration.
The TNA can be described as the first steps along a road in Human Resources development and management. Replicating and extending the study methodology, both nationally and at a provincial level on a regular basis in the future, will enable the Vietnamese tourism industry to compete effectively and meet the demands of a rapidly growing international market.
• The private sector considers ‘soft skills’ such as communications, foreign languages, service skills and personal skills (problem solving, organizational skills, personality) as the most important determinants in selection of candidates and sees these as priority skills areas for the future.
• Traditional technical skills (restaurant service, housekeeping, front office, ticketing) are not rated as particularly important by enterprises – there is recognition that such skills can be developed quickly in the workplace if the right attitude and necessary ‘soft skills’ are in place.
• Technology and web-related skills are important for those working in the travel industry and small hotels but larger, international hotels and resorts make use of existing software and management systems so these skills are of less relevance.
• There is a shortage, in Vietnam, of the specialist skills required in some of the new and emerging sectors (for example, diving instructors, golf instructors, conservation and interpretation specialists, event organisers) and such staff are frequently recruited from overseas.
• Those working in public sector tourism have a sound theoretical understanding of tourism at a national and local level but could benefit from closer cooperation with and exposure to the private sector as very few of these staff have direct working experience in a commercial environment.
• College and university programmes are rated highly by the private sector in terms of skills development in communications, languages and service but poorly in technical areas.
• Colleges are responsive to the new and emerging skills requirements of the industry but are limited in the resources they can devote to new areas. Teachers are generally well trained in academic terms but lack recent and relevant industry experience.
• Women are well represented in the tourism workforce but do not have opportunities for promotion to senior positions within public or private sector organizations in tourism. Minority groups, disadvantaged in their general and vocational education, are under-represented in the tourism industry.