The Luxembourg and Swiss governments will provide funding totaling 15 million euros or over 133 billion kip for skills development in the tourism and hospitality sector.
A launching ceremony for the Skills for Tourism project took place in Vientiane on Tuesday, presided over by Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Associate Prof. Dr Kongsy Sengmany; Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Luxembourg in the Lao PDR, Mr. Claude Jentgen; and Mekong Regional Director, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Mr.Tim Enderlin.
The purpose of this five-year project is the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth in the tourism and hospitality sector, thereby contributing to poverty reduction.
Through the implementation of a range of initiatives, it is expected that graduates of improved and expanded tourism and hospitality skills development, particularly disadvantaged people, will find gainful employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The project, which is being implemented by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev), builds on a previous successful Luxembourg Development Cooperation-funded project titled Strengthening of Human Resources in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in the Lao PDR,’ which was implemented over the past seven years.
It was that project which led to the creation and operationalisation of the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.
Speaking at the ceremony, Associate Prof. Dr Kongsy Sengmany said The Skills for Tourism project aligns very well with the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the Ministry of Education and Sports’ Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Development Plan 2016-2020.
The vision of TVET is labour force development linked to national and provincial socio-economic development in key sectors including tourism, as well as ASEAN and international integration.
The Skills for Tourism project will provide ongoing support for vocational education and skills development for the tourism sector. When fully operational, it will allow for as many as 1,000 to 2,000 beneficiaries per year to be trained and find employment in tourism and hospitality.
The inception phase of the project began in September 2016. It is focused on achieving a number of key goals related to improving the quality, as well as expanding the scale and variety of good quality skills development programmes in tourism and hospitality.
This includes placing more disadvantaged groups in training programmes through transparent and effective support measures; and supporting and enabling governance, institutional and regulatory frameworks.
The government of Luxembourg is delighted to continue its support for tourism and hospitality skills development in Laos, said Mr. Jentgen.
This project is further helping to bridge the gap between the large number of job-seekers in the Lao PDR, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the enormous employment potential of the tourism and hospitality sector.
He emphasised that the project will also provide additional support to the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.
With the Skills for Tourism project, SDC aims to ensure that tourism and hospitality skills development and employment opportunities are available to all sections of society in the Lao PDR, in particular the poor and vulnerable, such as young people, women and the rural population, said Mr. Enderlin.
The tourism sector in the Lao PDR has expanded rapidly, with international arrivals increasing from 14,400 in 1990 to over 4.6 million in 2015.
Source: Vientiane Times