Thailand and Cambodia Partner to Develop People Capabilities for Tourism Industry
RMUTT partnered with the Cambodian government to develop people capabilities for the tourism and hospitality industry, targeting 1,000 people and more than five million tourists/year.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prasert Pinprathomrat, RMUTT President signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Cambodian government on March 7th at the Ministry of Tourism in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to cooperate to develop people capabilities in the tourism and hospitality industry. This partnership continued from RMUTT’s previous collaboration to improve ground service skills by developing students in RMUTT’s Faculty of Liberal Arts.
Moreover, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prasert Pinprathomrat added that the ASEAN tourism industry is growing, especially in Cambodia, and decided to negotiate with the Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia since September 2016. As a result, RMUTT and the Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia have agreed to establish a program to develop people capabilities and competencies required for the tourism and hospitality industry prior to offering training courses.
“Our focus is to educate people and entrepreneurs first. Once they have successfully completed the program, they will be able to apply and share their knowledge and experiences to their subordinates. Program participants will be sent to institutions in Phnom Penh to study about hospitality and Siem Reap to study about how to become a guide. The program will commence around June 2017 and will contain a combination of online and classroom learning, as well as professors from RMUTT and Cambodia, but majorly from RMUTT. There will also be funding available, so there is no need to worry about the program cost” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prasert.
This program is considered an important stepping stone for educational institutions in Thailand in terms of developing specialists and establishing a professional standard for neighboring countries. Additionally, the program poses benefits for Thailand as it will attract more international students to study in Thailand and have increased confidence about Thai products. Lastly, the program will develop more people capabilities for the Thai tourism and hospitality industry to be able to compete internationally.
“This program marks the first time that Thai educational institutions have partnered with the Cambodian government. Once successful, there may be more programs to establish professional standards in other industries, as Cambodia is rapidly growing and is facing a shortage of people capabilities in almost all industries, especially the utilities industry. Nevertheless, RMUTT has been entrusted to expand this opportunity to other areas” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prasert Pinprathomrat.
H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia stated that 5,011,712 tourists have visited Cambodia in 2016, an increase of 5% from 2016, with an estimated 398,081 Thai tourists, up 13.8% from the previous year, accounting for the third largest number of tourists visiting Cambodia. H.E. Dr. Thong Khon saw that there should be more personnel to meet the demands of the industry so he decided to partner with RMUTT. He hopes that Cambodia will have higher tourism and hospitality standards in the future to welcome more tourists.
Moreover, Mr. Boonsom Phoungkaew General Manager of BAGS Ground Services said that BAGS Ground Services is the leader in developing people capabilities regarding ground services for the aviation industry and have collaborated with RMUTT’s Faculty of Liberal Arts to teach students and give them the opportunity to participate in internships and obtain professional training. Upon hearing about Cambodia’s shortage of knowledge, experience, and people capabilities, he coordinated with the Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia to train and develop skills for personnel, and is confident that the program will greatly benefit both Thailand and Cambodia regarding developing services in the tourism and hospitality industry.