Over the past three years, the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Hospitality Kampuchea (HoKa) project management committee and 10 target provincial tourism departments, has trained more than 3,000 individuals to become professionals in the sector.

HoKa provides training in front office, housekeeping, food and beverage services, culinary arts, barista skills and community tour guide to low-skilled workers. According to the ministry, the Swiss-funded project has trained a total of 3,347 people.

“August marks the third anniversary of the agreement between the tourism ministry and Swisscontact Cambodia. This partnership has been responsible for the hospitality training carried out by the ministry along with 10 target provincial tourism departments,” said the ministry.

The 10 targeted provinces are Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey.

These areas are now home to an array of newly qualified hospitality professionals.

The training was provided in collaboration with the private sector, tourism industrial associations, vocational training schools, and related partners

A core team of 353 HoKa trainers and 23 core trainer evaluators were involved. Additionally, there were 18 professionals in the Professional Placement Programme (PIP).

“Through this training, the committee has signed training agreements with a total of 106 tour operators that have sent staff, managers or business owners to participate in the training courses,” added the ministry.

Chuob Ratana, director of the ministry’s Tourism Development Planning department and a tourism skills trainer himself, provided some insights on August 8.

He revealed that trainees saw an average monthly income of $186 before the training, and this increased to an average monthly income of $223.

“This programme is intended to strengthen the capacity of those who are already working in the tourism sector, and with their better service capacity, they can get an increase of about $20 on their salaries,” he said.

“The successful achievement is that we have trained tourism officials and business owners, enhancing their ability to become trainers,” he said.