Work on tourism schools to start on Nov 24

To give a fresh impetus to the tourism industry, the government is set to start construction work on the two National Vocational Tourism School projects on November 24.

The groundbreaking ceremony in Phnom Penh is likely to be presided over by Chea Sophara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction.

While one vocational tourism school will be located in the national capital, the other will be situated at Sihanoukville in the Preah Sihanouk province.

The building of the vocational tourism schools is projected to cost 11 million euros (over $11 million), which is being provided as a concessional loan by the Agence Française de Dévelopement (AFD).

The French Agency for Development has provided 1.5 million euros as a grant for the Tourism Commercial Capacity Building Programme (TCBP) of Cambodia. The 11 million euros concessional loan for the tourism vocational schools is in addition to the aid for TCBP.

“The vocational tourism schools will help in training tourism professionals and provide initial and in-service training for 1,300 students every year” for the hospitality sector, read an AFD statement.

The training courses will be designed and prepared according to the needs of the workforce in the various segments of the hospitality sector. The private sector will be consulted and such courses will be aligned with ASEAN training standards, it added.

The vocational tourism schools will help in training tourism professionals for the hospitality sector which has started showing signs of rapid growth in the abating Covid-19 scenario.

“The AFD will continue to support the training and capacity building of both institutions as well as upgrade of the hospitality professionals and facilities in Cambodia,” AFD Country Director for Cambodia  Sandrine Boucher, said during a meeting with Minister of Tourism Thong Khon in Phnom Penh on November 17.

The Tourism Minister appreciated AFD’s continued support and contribution towards tourism development and promotion in Cambodia.

He also shared with the AFD official the present situation, plans, and policies of the government for the growth and development of the travel and tourism sector, the impact of Covid-19, the crisis prevention, resilience building, and post-crisis restoration measures taken by the Government.

“AFD will be supporting the construction of more vocational schools and tourism-related projects in the Kingdom,” Sandrine Boucher remarked.

According to experts, achievement of the tourism potential is often hindered by the shortage of qualified manpower. “The Ministry has conducted several training workshops in 2022 to up-skill the workforce and to encourage them to return to the sector,” Top Sopheak, spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism, recently said.

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