Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hospitality Kampuchea trains 884 tourism pros in first half of this year

Hospitality Kampuchea trains 884 tourism pros in first half of this year

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The tourism ministry and Swiss NGO HoKa collaborate to provide hospitality training sessions like this one in Mondulkiri province. SUPPLIED

Hospitality Kampuchea trains 884 tourism pros in first half of this year

Hospitality Kampuchea or HoKa is a training programme aimed at supporting skills development in developing or emerging tourism destinations in Cambodia funded by the Swiss Agency for Development.

HoKa, working in collaboration with the Skill Development Programme (SDP) of the Ministry of Tourism, has trained 884 professionals and core trainers in the first six months of this year, 596 of them women.

The students came from the target provinces in the northeast and the provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake.

“I think this kind of training is really good for me. It saves time and I can study in my community with some help

from the internet. Where I live is far from school and it’s difficult to find vocational schooling, so this program is important for me and my whole community,” said Pheng Songlini, a trainee in the barista programme from Mondulkiri province.

The skills learned have not only provided some of the trainees with job opportunities and a decent income, but they have also enabled them to become business owners or trainers with the programme.

Ul Vitou, is a core trainer and he was a HoKa trainee in 2018. Now he is also the owner of the Coffee Time in Kratie province.

“After I finished the training, I used the knowledge to continue teaching my staff. HoKa provided us with a wide range of technical skills, including soft skills, entrepreneurship and knowledge about environmental protections and climate change,” he said.

He said that learning the skills wasn’t an easy task and that it required real effort. Learning to become a trainer, however, was even more difficult.

“To become a trainer, you really need to understand pedagogy, theory and teaching techniques,” he said.

Vitou added that training in the global Covid-19 context required more flexibility for adapting between the direct training and training online.

“Finally, I’ve become a core trainer recognised by the tourism ministry. I want to help my community via sharing my skills and the knowledge that I have learned,” he added.

Christain Volder-Ide, director of the Swiss Contact Skills Development Program, said he was excited to be involved in training youths and helping them achieve their goals.

“It is amazing for me see youths study, grow up, develop their confidence, knowledge and skills until they can achieve their goals and become leaders and orient others in the right direction,” said Volder-Ide, who has more than 15 years of experience working in skill development and training programmes.

HoKa focuses on developing the knowledge and skills of the trainees, who are typically currently serving professionals in the industry, youths in need or experts who stopped their work due to the Covid-19 crisis.

After their training is completed, the trainees get certificates to confirm their abilities from the HoKa project management committee at the tourism ministry.

On July 19, Pak Sokhom, secretary of state of the ministry of tourism and chairman of the HoKa project management committee, attended the meeting to review the results of the first semester of 2022 and the working direction for the second semester of the committee in Preah Vihear province.

“Through the HoKa project mechanism, which is the core mechanism of cooperation and strengthening the national and sub-national working mechanisms in the implementation of the HoKa Hospitality Training Programme, we will achieve even better results,” he said.

“The programme is contributing to Cambodia’s tourism sector and strengthening the tourism profession, as Minister of Tourism [Thong Khon] has always said: ‘The tourism profession is your life’,” Sokhom said.

Chuob Ratana, director of the Department of Tourism development planning and head of the secretariat of the HoKa project management committee, said that the committee had trained 884 professionals and trainers with the support of Swiss Contact, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNIDO in areas such as food and beverage services, front desk office, housekeeping, chefs and baristas.

“HoKa hospitality training for the first semester was conducted in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang,” he said.

Christian Volder-Ide, Team Leader of the Skills Development Programme, commended the HoKa committee and the departments of tourism in the target provinces for their cooperation and efforts to implement the action plan and achieve outstanding results.

“Through this collaboration, Swiss Contact will expand HoKa hospitality training to Battambang, Pailin, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey provinces, which are priority destinations and have great potential for the tourism sector,” said Volder-Ide.


  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • PM to open new Siem Reap int’l airport December 1

    Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders would jointly participate in the official opening of the new Chinese-invested Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on December 1. The airport symbolises a new page in the history of Cambodian aviation, which will be able to welcome long-distance flights to

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • Minimum wage set at $204, after Sep 28 vote

    The minimum wage for factory workers in the garment, footwear and travel goods industries for 2024 has been decided at $204 per month, with the government contributing $2. Following several negotiation sessions, the tripartite talks reached an agreement during a September 28 vote, with 46 of 51 votes supporting the $202 figure.