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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Tourism fears worker shortage as it prepares for Tet

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Hoteliers were concerned over their business performance during the fourth quarter of the year and the Tet holiday due to staffing shortages amid the tourism industry regaining strong growth momentum.

The Covid-19 pandemic had forced tourism businesses to lay off some 70-80% of their staff, leaving the industry with a severe shortage of employees when the country reopened to international visitors, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported.

Enrollment in 15 tourism vocational training institutions halved, while only a fourth of employees worked full-time in the industry compared to the same period during the pre-Covid years.

According to data, the number of direct employees in the accommodation sector was nearly 400,000, meeting some 70% of the demand, while their average productivity was lower than 50%, the Vietnam News Agency cited Ph.D. Cao Thi Ngoc Lan, standing vice chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, as saying.

In the north-central province of Nghe An, most tourism companies either managed to survive or shut down, reducing the labor force by 50%.

In the central city of Danang, some 80% of tourism businesses temporarily stopped operations.

The website Danang.gov.vn cited Truong Thi Hong Hanh, director of the Danang Tourism Department, as saying that the department was developing a set of professional practice standards for the hospitality sector and would open training courses and help local firms organize recruitment programs. 

Nguyen Van Khoa, chairman of the Tourism Association of Binh Thuan Province, cited data from the website Binhthuan.gov.vn that over 60% of 75 members of the association were facing a labor shortage. 

Statistics from the Hanoi Tourism Department showed that some 1,550 hoteliers ceased operations or were transferred to another industry, leaving nearly 21,500 people jobless. Of them, 13,400 were part-time workers, and the rest were laid-off, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

In the Vietnam tourism development strategy to 2025, the country strives to attract 35 million international visitors and 120 million domestic visitors, to maintain the average growth of inbound tourists from 12-14% per annum and domestic tourists from 6-7% a year.

According to the plan, the tourism industry would generate from 5.5 to 6 million jobs, including 2 million directly employed workers.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reported the nation’s tourism industry has generated VND394.2 trillion in revenue in the year through September, equivalent to 78% of the same period of 2019 when the pre-Covid tourism sector was at its best.

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