Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry rolls out refresher tourism courses after Covid lull



Ministry rolls out refresher tourism courses after Covid lull

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Trainees at a workshop earlier this month. Preah Sihanouk Environment Department

Ministry rolls out refresher tourism courses after Covid lull

The Ministry of Tourism provides short course to staff working in tourism sectors in target provinces in order to refresh and strengthen their skills as the Kingdom expected to attract at least half a million tourists in 2021, depending on the Covid-19 situation.

Thong Rathasak, the director-general of the ministry’s General Directorate of Tourism Development and International Cooperation, told The Post that the government had put in place measures to prevent Covid-19 infection that tour operators and those working in the tourism sector should follow.

He said Cambodia expected to receive at least 500,000 tourists in 2021, but that number could increase if the Covid-19 pandemic is mitigated through wide distribution of vaccines. The tourism sector will re-emerge to some extent though, he predicted.

“According to a study, in 2020 international tourism worldwide dropped between 70 and 90 per cent from the previous year. In Cambodia, it dropped about 86 per cent. That is the figure by late 2020. At the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic, the number of international tourists had increased.”

“For 2021, the world has not made itself clear yet on this issue. But an early study shows the number of international tourists could bounce back to 300 million worldwide, or equal to between 20-30 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.

“If there is a vaccine widely available, tourism could increase to between 35 to 50 per cent [of previous year’s levels],” Rathasak said.

He added that the government will provide additional training to those who work in the tourism sector.

Mean Vandeth, director of the ministry’s education department, said on January 11 that in the last six months since June 2020, approximately 13,000 workers in the tourism sector had participated in training provided by the ministry.

Most of them were from Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces along with Phnom Penh. They mostly worked in hotels, restaurants and travel.

“The ministry wanted to turn this challenge into an opportunity and boost training for those working in the tourism sector. We provide them additional training and new skills,” he said, adding that all courses were provided online.

Ho Vandy, senior consultant at Cambodia Tourism Association, told The Post on January 11 that the government was farsighted in preparing for the future by providing training to those working in this sector.

He said however that the expected international arrivals of 500,000 for this year was probably wishful thinking. He said it all depends on the pandemic situation, vaccine distribution and outbreak prevention as these remain the only relevant factors that can improve the situation.

“When aviation and transport come back to normal, these hopes will all come true. Now, it is just a dream. It is a reminder to all service providers to have plans ready to make this dream come true. They have to be prepared,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through