HCM City to have Tourism Department
13:03 14/03/2014
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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved Ho Chi Minh City's plan to set up an agency responsible for management of tourism in the city.

HCM City to have Tourism Department

HCM City's tourism industry needs over 21,000 workers, especially tour guides, each year between now and 2020. – File photo

The Tourism Department will be established after splitting from the current Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

According to a report by the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, tourism in the city has seen strong growth in recent years and a separate agency is needed to cope with increasing workload related to tourism management.

In 2013, the number of foreign visitors to Ho Chi Minh City was estimated at 4.1 million, accounting for 55% of total international arrivals in Vietnam.

Its tourism revenue reached 83.2 trillion VND (3.9 billion USD), equivalent to 44% of the country's total.

The city has set a target to welcome 4.4 million foreign visitors and earn revenue of 94 trillion VND (4.4 billion USD) in 2014.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Forecast Center of Manpower and Labour Market Information, the City's tourism industry needs over 21,000 workers, especially tour guides, each year between now and 2020.

Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the center, told the Saigon Times Daily that the demand for tourism labour would increase strongly in the coming years, especially after 2015 when an ASEAN agreement on free movement of the tourism workforce within the bloc becomes effective.

Tuan also added that the labour quality in the city's tourism industry remains low, with many people holding managerial positions still not conversant in foreign languages.

A survey conducted by the center last year shows some 30% to 45% of tour guides and tour coordinators and some 70-80% of receptionists at restaurants and hotels are not qualified in terms of foreign languages.

Tourism is a key industry of the city, but the lack of tour guides with good command of foreign languages is hindering its development. In the city, there are not only 2020 tour guides recognised by the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism, including 1,250 English-fluent guides, 225 French-speaking guides, 160 able to speak Japanese, and 99 Chinese-speaking guides.

Source Vietnamnet

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