Productivity of tourism workers in Vietnam, small fraction of that of Singapore

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism department, said every tourism employee in Vietnam contributes $ 3,477 a year to the country’s tourism revenue.

That’s 15 times lower than Singapore ($ 47,713) and 2.5 times lower than Thailand ($ 8,369), Vu said in a recent forum, citing data from Pacific Asia Travel. Association (PATA).

Vietnam ranked 67th in the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF), lower than Indonesia (42nd), Thailand (34th) and Singapore (13th).

The country needs 40,000 skilled tourism workers per year, but only 15,000 are hired; and of those, only 12% are highly skilled employees, Vu said.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietravel tourism company, said the number of staff fluent in foreign languages ​​is very low.

“Places like Nha Trang and Da Nang welcome large numbers of tourists from South Korea, Japan and China, but tourism companies still have to provide 6 to 12 months of language training to recruits before they can communicate. “

Vu said the reason for low labor productivity was the lack of training of professional tourism employees in Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City alone, at least 10% of tourism workers work without any training, he added.

Ky and other industry insiders have proposed that the government start early vocational training for high school students and provide more hands-on training for university students majoring in tourism.

The tourism sector in Vietnam has grown rapidly in recent years. Last year, the country welcomed 15.5 million international visitors and 80 million domestic visitors, up 19.9% ​​and 9.3% respectively, according to official figures. Tourism revenues increased from $ 21.4 billion to $ 23 billion, contributing 7.5% of GDP.

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