Investing in the Future: 4,100+ Cambodian hospitality workforce trained for sector success

Key Highlights:

  • Ministry of Tourism, Swisscontact , and partners trained 4,106 young people from poor families by 2023.
  • The HoKa Project Management Committee, led by Minister Sok Soken, emphasizes a 12-year commitment to skills development.
  • 4,106 participants, including 2,553 women, received training in diverse hospitality fields across 10 provinces.
  • Minister Sok Soken commended collaborative efforts in empowering vulnerable youth.
  • Cambodia saw a significant 156.9% increase in international tourists in the first 11 months of 2023, which was crucial for the economy.

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Swisscontact Cambodia and other partners, has provided hospitality training to a total of 4,106 young people from poor and vulnerable families by the end of 2023. This achievement was celebrated at a meeting on December 20, 2023, at the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh.

The meeting, chaired by Tourism Minister H.E. Sok Soken and joined by representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), relevant ministries, vocational training schools, and the private sector, reviewed the progress of the HoKa Project Management Committee.

H.E. Pak Sokhom, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the HoKa Project Management Committee highlighted the long-term commitment to skills development. He noted the committee's establishment in 2020 and its partnership with Swisscontact Cambodia to implement the Skills Development Project from January 2021. This 12-year project, with phases spanning from 2016 to 2028, underscores the dedication to building a strong hospitality workforce.

Mr. Chuob Ratana, Director of the Tourism Development Planning Department and Head of the Secretariat of the Hoka Training Project Committee detailed the program's impact. He reported that 4,106 participants (2,553 women) have received training in various hospitality fields, including housekeeping, front office, food and beverage service, coffee making, culinary arts, community tourism guiding, and Hoka trainers and evaluators.

These trainings were provided across 10 target provinces: Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, and Oddar Meanchey.

Minister Sok Soken commended the collaborative efforts of the Hoka Project Management Committee and Swisscontact Cambodia in empowering vulnerable youth. He lauded the successful training of 4,106 individuals across the ten target provinces and emphasized the importance of stakeholder collaboration in achieving this impact on the sector.

Cambodia attracted some 4.92 million international tourists in the first 11 months of 2023, a sharp increase of around 156.9 percent from the same period last year, according to the latest figures of the Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia's economy, in addition to , footwear, and travel goods exports, agriculture, construction, and real estate. Ministry of Tourism expected the number of international visitors to Cambodia is predicted to reach 7 million by 2025, surpassing the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level of 6.6 million in 2019.

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