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Ministry extends Siem Reap youth tourism training deal

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Ecole d’Hotellerie et de Tourisme (EHT) Paul Dubrule school board vice-chairwoman Eleonore Mueth-Dubrule (left) and tourism minister Thong Khon at Monday’s meeting. TOURISM MINISTRY

Ministry extends Siem Reap youth tourism training deal

The Ministry of Tourism has announced that it will continue to work with the Ecole d’Hotellerie et de Tourisme (EHT) Paul Dubrule school and the “Cambodian Organisation for Training and Progress” to provide vocational training for more youth in Siem Reap province.

The agreement was reached at a meeting at the tourism ministry on March 28 between minister Thong Khon and Eleonore Mueth-Dubrule, vice-chairwoman of EHT Paul Dubrule’s school board, the ministry said in a statement on March 29.

Mueth-Dubrule said in the statement that, in the wake of Cambodia’s reopening to fully-vaccinated arrivals and resumption of socio-economic activity, EHT Paul Dubrule and the organisation “request the tourism ministry to continue its cooperation on tourism vocational training, under both the ASEAN and national frameworks”.

The minister agreed, saying: “Let the school provide more training to youth to meet Siem Reap’s labour needs, in accordance with the province’s tourism development masterplan.

“Through this masterplan, Cambodia has set the vision that by 2030, Siem Reap will provide employment opportunities for 900,000 youth. Therefore, to achieve this plan, there must be careful training so that those who complete the courses are able to work with the right skills,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) president Chhay Sivlin told The Post that with Angkor Wat as its primary draw, Siem Reap is one of the Kingdom’s main travel destinations, stressing the importance of training tourism professionals.

She voiced concern, however, that veterans in the field are bound to be a bit rusty and have a few skills gaps that need filling after more than two years of Covid-19, which she said could be a liability for private tourism businesses when international holidaymakers once again fill the streets.

“When it comes to tourism professions, Siem Reap has done the best job, with the highest levels. People from other tourist provinces would always come to recruit staff from Siem Reap.

“We want other tourist destinations such as Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep and Mondulkiri provinces to get this kind of training to meet demand, as international tourism bounces back to growth,” she said.

Also mentioned at the meeting were additional two programmes, one of which would focus on visual arts and be designed to cultivate artists to enhance the allure of tourist attractions and create more meaningful memories for travellers, the statement said.

The second is a broader programme aimed at college-level students with a focus not only on vocational training, but on environmental work, eco-tourism and the arts. With backing from “famous universities in Europe”, the EHT Paul Dubrule school aims to set a new standard with the programme, the statement added.

It noted that the school was established in 2002 as one of the main partners of the tourism ministry, tasked with training personnel for the hospitality industry in 32 skills as per ASEAN standards, to ensure that graduates are well-positioned to pursue jobs in the bloc, in accordance with the laws of the host country.

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