Cambodia and China have signed a cooperative agreement encouraging vocational training in the tourism sector by organising work training exchange programmes for students and staff between the two countries.
Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on January 25 that Cambodia needs better quality and increased quantity of human resources to sustain the tourism sector once it has rebounded post-pandemic.
Ministry secretary of state Chea Bora and Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts secretary of state Som Sokun were present at the signing ceremony for the cooperative agreements between the Coastal City Development Company and Kuoy Lin Tourism Institute in Koh Kong province.
“The focus of this agreement is on encouraging and strengthening partnership cooperation in tourism sector vocational training, human resource development and research in the tourism sector by organising training programmes for students and staff,” he said.
Bora said the tourism sector in Cambodia was considered a priority because it played an important role by contributing to socio-economic development and environmental protection.
He added that the tourism sector will also play a role in building a green economy in Cambodia in order to meet the country’s UN 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“Through this cooperative agreement we will establish a centre for cultural exchanges and innovative research into tourism between Cambodia and China.
“The centre will participate in the planning of tourism sector development with the goal of turning Cambodia into a global destination and attraction that warmly welcomes all tourists,” he said.
Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan observed that human resources in Cambodia’s tourism sector are quite lacking at present, especially in the provinces with future potential for increased tourism such as Preah Sihanouk, Siem Reap, Kep and Kampot.
“In Preah Sihanouk province, we see that the labour force already serving the tourism sector is mostly [workers from China],” he said.
Sinan added that Cambodia also needed to develop better human resources in the fields of marketing and advertising.
“We are in the digital era, so we have to train people with skills in the tourism sector that take that into account in order to keep up with the times,” he said.
Sopheak of the tourism ministry added that at present, the ministry is paying attention to training workers in the tourism sector in an attempt to improve the quality of service here.
“The tourism sector lives or dies based on quality of service. Good service means happy tourists. We need to continue to develop human resources in this area to improve our tourism sector,” he said.