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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Laos aims for quality tourism by 2020

The Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) yesterday launched its national tourism Human Resource Development (HRD) strategy in a bid to strengthen the tourism industry in Laos .

The strategy, titled “Achieving Service Quality Through People”, was launched in Vientiane at an event attended by tourism officials and overseas guests involved in the project.

Minister and LNTA Chairman Somphong Mongkhonvilay said at the opening of the launch he was convinced that by strengthening institutional cooperative frameworks and the technical capacity of Lao people, service quality in the tourism industry could be improved.

“This will have the end result of expanding opportunities for employment and profit making in this dynamic sector and establishing mechanisms for sustaining our fragile ecosystems, heritage and culture,” he said.

Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Luxembourg to Laos , Mr Marc Franck, said the launch of the human resource development strategy was the culmination of a year of extensive work in research, analysis, stakeholder consultation and the crafting and design of an appropriate vision and strategic recommendations.

“Today marks not the end of a journey, but rather the beginning. Now more than ever before in Laos ' brief tourism history, it is essential that all sector stakeholders band together to achieve a common vision for the future,” Mr Franck said.

That vision will make Lao tourism internationally competitive through improved service quality, he added.

Recognising the importance of tourism as one of the country's major engines of economic growth and poverty alleviation, the government of the Grand D uchy of Luxembourg has committed itself to helping Laos strengthen human resources in the hospitality and tourism industry through the establishment of the Luxembourg Development project LAO/020.

In addition to commissioning the national HRD strategy, the project has recruited and mobilised 17 young teachers to Luxembourg and Singapore to undertake two years of professional studies in hospitality and tourism.

In 2010, the project will start construction of a National Tourism and Hospitality Training Centre as well as the development of national tourism related curricula and supporting teaching materials.

The two part publication detailing the strategy summarises the extensive fieldwork and research undertaken and sets out to map a vision for the hospitality and tourism industry during the period 2010 to 2020.

It is estimated that by 2020, Lao tourism will directly employ 40,000 people. This will require skills improvement of the existing 17,000 strong workforce and the development of another 23,000 new entrants into the tourism labour force.

Project LAO/020's Chief Technical Advisor, Mr Peter Semone, said “The story of successful tourism destinations and enterprises is one that is largely about people - how they are recruited, how they are managed, trained, educated, valued and rewarded, and how they are supported through a process of continuous learning and career development.”

In addition to the launch, a number of provincial events will be organised in the coming months to ensure broad dissemination of strategy both nationally and throughout the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
November 3 , 2009)

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