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Speech by H.E Dr. Thong Khon on the Occassion of 10-Year Anniversary of Establishment of Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School

Speech
by
H.E Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, High Representative of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
on the occassion of 10-Year Anniversary of Establishment of
Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School
Siem Reap, October 24, 2012

- H.E Sou Phirin, Governor of Siem Reap province
- Mr. Paul Dubrule, Chairman of Board of Directors and Founder of Paul Dubrule Hotel and   Tourism School
- Mr. Gerad Haugardy, Director of Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School
- Excellencies, ladeis and gentlemen, teachers and students

Today, it gives me great honor to be officially authorized as the high representative of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia to participate in the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School and the Official Innauguration of new school building.

Taking this particular moment, I would like to extend my profound thanks to Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, teachers, national and international distinguished guests for your valuable presence on this auspicious occassion.

On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Ministry of Tourism and myself, I would like to highlight the heartfelt efforts of the management of Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School for tireless endeavors in developing the training curriculum which leads to the successful development of tourism professional trainings in Cambodia .

This tremendous achievement stems from generous participation and contribution of Mr. Paul Dubrule and family who have devoted mentally, phisically and financially for the supports in establishing the Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism school since 2002. The Year 2002 not noly marked the year of school establishment, but also highlighted the world record of history when Mr. Paul Dubrule, 68 years old, biked from Fontainebleau, France to Cambodia (within 7 months) to participate in then school innauguration here. In 2012, he also biked from Bankok to Cambodia to joint today’s 10th anniversary and the innauguration of new school building of Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School here.

I would like to extend my profound thanks and appreciations  to Mr. Paul Dubrule, who is the politician, tourism professional, schollar and sportman for using family foundation to establish this school in order to provide tourism professional trainings to Cambodian youths as well as to contribute to human resource development and poverty alleviation in Cambodia.

‑ Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international distinguished guests

Presently, the Royal Government of Cambodia, under the sound and brilliant leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, gains complete peace, full freedom, and complete political stability, which is fundamental to encouraging development in all sectors, in which tourism has been in significant progress year-on-year.
Cambodia tourism, known as the “natural and cultural tourism”, has been considered as the Green Gold (Green Tourism) which is one of the priority sectors playing crucial roles in socio-economic development and poverty alleviation through job creation for people, generation of national revenue, enhancement of cultural prestigious and environmental protection.

Particularly in 2011, Cambodia welcomed approximately 2.8 million international tourists, an increase of 15%. It created 350,000 jobs and generated revenue of 1,912 million US Dollars, contributing to about 12% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). For the first 8-month of 2012, international tourist arrivals to Cambodia registered 2.3 million, an increase of 24.5%, compared to the same period in 2011.

According to Cambodia tourism projection, for entire 2012 Cambodia will recieve approximately 3.3 million international tourists, about 4.5 million in 2015, and 7 million in 2020, during which tourism will generate total revenue of 5,000 million dollars and create approximate 800,0000 direct jobs.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned goal and to contribute to Green Tourism development in Cambodia, the Ministry of Tourism  has successfully developed Cambodia Tourism Development Strategic Plan 2012‑2020, focusing on 6 strategic directions, namely:

  1. Tourism product development
  2. Tourism marketing and promotion
  3. Connectivity, travel facilitation and transportation
  4. Tourism safety system and negative impact management
  5. Legal system and management mechanism
  6. Human resource development.

 

Along with the competitive movement of “Clean City, Clean Resorts, Good Service”, and within the frame work of human resource development strategic plan, the Ministry of Tourism has encourgaed and supported tourism trainings in all forms and levels, provided by universities, training schools, national and international organizations and institutions aiming to improve tourism service quality, thus accomplishing high competitive advantages within the region and the world.

As a matter of fact, we cannot talk about tourism service strengthening, regardless of tourism professional training. Tourism service requires both can-do knowledges and good personality of service persons, so it is necessary to have properly designed tourism professional training courses with the standard quality to meet tourist satisfaction.

Currently, although we have strived to develope tourism professionals, there is still in lack of well-trained tourism professionals in Cambodia tourism sector since Cambodia has yet to establish the tourism professional training schools which can respond to the emerging market needs. Particularly, in accordance with the research, Cambodia needs additional 500,000 tourism professionals to welcome 7 million international tourists by 2020.

In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with various international partners, private sectors and national and international educational establishment, in broadly enhancing tourism skill training development. In particular, the Ministry of Tourism has been cooperating with the French Development Agency (AFD) for the project on creation of National Tourism Training School which plays important roles in providing tourism skill training to Cambodian youths, and various international institutions, namely Cheju University of the Republic of Korea, Chinese partner of Quang Xi province for the establishment to Tourism Professional Training School, and signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Shift 360 Foundation Switzerland, on the establishment of Culinary School as well as other good cooperations with national and international organizations. Along with this, the Ministry of Tourism has been considering the student loan system from the bank in order to facilitate the poor students for school pre-payment so that they are able to enroll the tourism professional training courses accordingly.

In addition, within the frame work of ASEAN Tourism development in keeping with the spirit of ASEAN Economy Intergration 2015, the ASEAN member countries have adopted the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) aiming at easing the tourism professional mobility withing ASEAN and facilitating training exchange program between member countries on the 32 skills, namely front office, housekeeping, food and beverage services, food production, travel agencies, and tour operations in hotel and travel services.

For Cambodia, the Royal Government of Cambodia has established National Committee for Tourism Professional, with the Minister of Tourism as the Chairman, to undertake responsibility in implementating the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), so that Cambodia will be able to develope tourism professional trainings through joint mechanism such as competency standard, curriculum standard and the same ASEAN study documents. At the same times, ASEAN will provide training of trainers for Cambodia focal points as well as technical standards for training development.

‑ Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international distinguished guests

As Mr. Paul Dubrule and Mr. Gérard Hougardy has mentioned, the successful tourism professional trainings cannot be accomplished, unless there is participation from all stakeholders by all means of in-cash and in-kind support as well as the commitment of Cambodian youth or staff. In this sense, the Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School has made tremendous success in its mission since there is strong support from donors and all tour operators in Cambodia. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank all hotels and tour operators for providing opportunity of practicum for students from Paul Dubrule and provide in-house trainings for the staff. My thanks also go to Group Accor for the past and on-going support and cooperation with the Paul Dubrule School. 

Taking this opportunity, On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Ministry of Tourism, I would like to extend my thanks to Ministry of Labor and Professional Training, Siem Reap provincial authorities, especially H.E Governor of Siem Reap province, for the past and on-going cooperation and support for the proper functioning of the Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School.

I would like to appeal all doners for Paul Dubrule to further support Paul Dubrule school in order to joint hand developing Cambodian tourism professionals, and also propose Paul Dubrule to model as an outstanding school in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Committee for Tourism Professional in order to go hand-in-hand implementing the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement in Cambodia to achieve very positive outcomes.

Last but not least, I would like to renew my sincere thanks to Mr. Paul Dubrule and family for their generousity and devotion for Cambodia youths as well as entire Cambodian population.

May I wish you all and the entire ceremony the four Buddhist Blessings: longivity, beauty, peace and power.  Thank you!