Phạm Công Sơn, CEO of The Shells resort, said that businesses for many years have been seriously concerned about the shortage.

The severe shortage of senior managers at five-star hotels is partly due to the less-than-ideal living conditions on the island, Sơn said at a roundtable meeting held by Tuổi Trẻ newspaper on Phú Quốc Island on Tuesday (Nov 12).

To retain workers, businesses have to offer competitive salaries and benefits as well as good accommodations. However, a high turnover rate remains a headache for hotels and resorts.   

Nguyễn Hữu Tuynh, a representative of Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, said his company had recently visited Cần Thơ City to recruit employees because of the staff shoratge.

The company plans to hold a job fair in Kiên Giang Province to seek more candidates.

“The local tourism industry is beset by shortages of manual and skilled labourers. It is in dire need of senior managers,” he said.

Tăng Chí Quyên, representative of Kiên Giang Province’s Department of Tourism, said that Phú Quốc contributed nearly 90 per cent of the province’s tourism turnover. 

The island is home to 12 five-star hotels and seven four-star hotels. As many as 13,000 employees work in the tourism industry in the province, including 11,500 employees at hotels and resorts, Quyên said.

Most of them hold elementary-level certificates at vocational schools or take part in on-the-job training courses offered by businesses, he said.

Trương Sỹ Vinh, deputy director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research, said Phú Quốc needs around 36,000 workers to fulfill tasks at 23,000 rooms at four to five-star hotels.

Career orientation and job consultancy in the tourism industry for high school students play a vital role in attracting local employees to work in their hometown instead of seeking jobs in major cities, according to Trần Việt Hùng, chairman of the HCM City Tourism Association.

Around 300 students graduate from high schools on Phú Quốc every year, Hùng said.

The island has 300 projects with a combined registered capital of US$17 billion.

In the first six months of the year, Kiên Giang Province issued licences to 11 projects with a combined investment of VNĐ12.2 trillion ($526.6 million).

A total of 8,779 firms operate in the province, with most of them in the service, tourism and hospitality sectors. —VNS


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