The ESRT Programme in collaboration with the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) and its Tourism & Hospitality Sector Committee organised a full-day conference on the implementation of the revised Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standards (VTOS) in line with the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Tourism Professional (MRA-TP).
With the participation of high-profile and leading experts in their prospective field, the conference elaborated on significance and benefits of the revised VTOS in line with the MRA-TP, thus improving the relevance and effectiveness of the VTOS and contributing to the upgrade of quality service standards in Vietnam’s tourism industry.
Opening the conference, Franz Jessen, Ambassador - Head of EU Delegation to Vietnam stressed that “the tourism sector needs more qualified professionals to be more competitive and to make Vietnam a more attractive destination. With our support, through the VTOS, colleges and tourism schools will be better equipped to train the young workforce for what the tourism industry actually needs”.
The ASEAN Economic Community will be launched in 2015, allowing skilled tourism labours from other ASEAN countries to work in Vietnam and vice versa. “In order to cope with this challenge, Vietnam should set up a National Tourism Professional Board and a full qualification framework as well as ensure sufficient trainers, assessors/verifiers and assessment centres are in place and all tourism stakeholders are aware of the MRA-TP procedures”, said Kai Partale, Tourism Sector Specialist of the ESRT Programme. He further stated that “an online qualification & registration system is needed which will be linked to the ASEAN Tourism Professionals Registration System.”
Developed back in 2007, VTOS has been widely used by many tourism businesses and schools. Now revised and updated in a modular structure, VTOS have been endorsed by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism for implementation in the tourism and hospitality industry. The revised VTOS standards have been developed and benchmarked against international occupational standards and ASEAN Common Competency Standards for Tourism Professionals and follow the Guidelines from Decision No. 09/2008/QĐ-BLĐTBXH of the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs which set out the principles and processes for the development of National Occupational Skill Standards.
This is the first of potentially tourism human resources annual conferences to be held, thereby establishing permanent dialogue and effective partnership between the public and private tourism sector in Vietnam. The conferences will serve as a “role model” for regular, sustainable and effective public-private dialogue/partnership in the tourism and hospitality sector. Such conferences may become a recurring national or regional annual event, hosted by ASEAN countries on a rotating basis.
Another conference with the same theme will take place in Ho Chi Minh City on December 5th, 2014 to seek contribution from one of the most dynamic regions of the country.
VIETNAM TOURISM OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS
VTOS are defined as the standards of performance that people are expected to achieve in their work, and the knowledge and skills they need to perform effectively. The standards have been developed for six key tourism areas including Front Office, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage service, Food Preparation, Travel & Tour Operations and Tour Guiding. In addition, four specialist standards have been prepared for high demand occupations namely Onsite Tour Guiding, Tourist Boat Service, Hotel Management and Small Accommodation Operations.
Each standard of VTOS is developed in different levels (maximum 5 levels) with development of 241 new units of competence for six tourism occupational areas that meet international standards and ASEAN requirements. In addition, VTOS includes units on Responsible Tourism suitable for a range of jobs within all occupational areas. The VTOS Responsible Tourism Standards have been prepared to give hospitality and tourism professionals clear guidelines and standards on implementing Responsible Tourism practices in their work and in their businesses.
For information on the MRA-TP please visit http://bit.ly/mratpen