15 Mar 2019
The government has announced its intention to grow the workforce in the tourism industry to 1 million people by next year in an effort to meet the demands of an ever-growing number of tourists to the Kingdom.
The goal is not only to expand the number of workers but also to increase the proportion of that workforce composed of skilled professionals, the Ministry of Tourism recently announced.
The ministry’s goal is to create more jobs for tourism students and to increase professionalism in the sector, said Mean Vandet, director of the ministry’s education and training department.
“This year we are expecting 7 million foreign tourists. Now, there are 800,000 people employed in the sector. We need to expand that figure to 1 million to be able to cope with the expected rise in the number of tourists in upcoming years,” he said.
Sitting at the university’s library, year-four tourism student Mao Sreypov says she hopes for a long and successful professional career in the sector, a career she kick-started this year with a part-time position at a local hotel.
As a tourism major at Phnom Penh’s Pannasastra University, Sreypov, who hails from Takeo province, said she chose to study tourism because she thinks it will increase her chances of finding good employment and because she wants to contribute to the development of the country’s vibrant tourism industry.
She says Cambodia has great potential in tourism but that the quality of the sector’s workforce still leaves a lot to be desired, particularly because education centres are failing to teach the skills that are in demand.