Two Tourism Training Schools to Open

Tourism vocational training schools are slated to open in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville this month as the industry battles against a shortage in skilled workers, who were driven away by the pandemic
Tourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Tourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Two vocational school training (VST) projects in tourism are slated to open this month in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukvillle, with funding from the French Agency for Development (AFD).

Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, said that the first national VST is scheduled to open on November 24, with participation from Chea Sophara, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

On November 17, they met with Boucher Sandrine, Director of AFD, to discuss the projects.

According to a Ministry of Tourism Facebook post, AFD has provided 11 million euros (about $12 million) for the two VST projects.

AFD has helped develop Cambodia's tourism sector and provided this grant for Cambodia to continue to strengthen its trade capacity in tourism (TCBP), and continue to support the training school construction projects.

Sandrine said AFD supports the Ministry of Tourism, which has set out strategic plans and policies for the rehabilitation and development of tourism in and after the covid-19 crisis, especially in the areas of training and strengthening the capacity of both institutions and staff in the tourism sector.

“AFD may continue to assist in the establishment of this National School in other potential provinces,” Sandrine said.

“Cambodia has intangible cultural heritage, world heritage, natural resources, especially the Cambodian friendly, good hospitality, which is a precious potential for the development and belief of Cambodia's tourism sector,” she added.

Chhay Sivlin, President of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said the two new schools are positive for the industry, which continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and faces a lack of human resources.

“When we want the tourism sector to grow well, we need to think about training human resources. We want to get more tourists, we need to have more human resources who are experts,” said Sivlin.

She also hopes that with cooperation of other sectors, Cambodia can replant itself on the global map. She also urged those who have left from the tourism sector to return

“Tourism’s experts should come back to train the next generation. We need real experts to attract tourists,” she added.