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Address by H.E Dr. THONG KHON​​ At Medallion for Excellence-Awarding Ceremony to Award-Winning Student of PSE In the ASEAN Skills Competition 2012

Address by
H.E Dr. THONG KHON, Minister of Tourism, and
President of the National Committee for Tourism Professionals
At Medallion for Excellence-Awarding Ceremony to Award-Winning Student of PSE
In the ASEAN Skills Competition 2012, at Jakarta, Indonesia
January 10, 2013, PSE Hotel School, Phnom Penh Capital City

- Mr. Pin Sarapich, Program Director of PSE
- Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, on behalf of the National Committee for Tourism Professionals and on my own behalf, I would like to voice my great pleasure and profound thanks to PSE and PSE Hotel School for honorably inviting me to attend the Medallion for Excellence-Awarding Ceremony to its Award-Winning Student on the occassion of the ASEAN Skills Competition 2012, at Jakarta, Indonesia.

I would like to highly appreciate and valuate the efforts of PSE’s leaders for endeavoring to do their best to develop both schools, and curriculum in a close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the National Committee for Tourism Professionals, together with national and international relevant stakeholders to be aimed at contributing to tourism professional education and training for Cambodian youth, and tourism development, as well as poverty alleviation in Cambodia.

Today’s achievement is certain to clarify the PSE’s training quality, which met the national and international standards through its student’s triumph at the ASEAN Skills Competition 2012 in the Cooking skill area.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Presently, Cambodia, under the sound and brilliant leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has fully peace, security, and political stability, which are fundamental bases for the development of all sectors. Namely, Tourism has tremendously developed.

Cambodian tourism is a “Cultural and Natural Tourism”, and considered to be as the Green Gold and one of the priority sectors, contributing to socio-economic development, poverty reduction in Cambodia through creating jobs for the people, generating national revenue, enhancing culture and environmental conservation.

Actually, in 2012, Cambodia received about 3.5 international tourists at the growth rate of 25%, compared to 2011. And there is approximately 8 million domestic tourists at the growth rate of 3%, bringing about $2 billion revenue into Cambodian economy and creating approximately 350000 direct jobs.

Following the forecasts, Cambodia will receive approximately 4.5 million international tourists in 2015, and 7 million in 2020.

Along with this, in 2020, Cambodian tourism will generate approximately $5 billion revenue, and creating 800000 direct jobs.
In order to achieve the above goals, the Ministry of Tourism has set up the Tourism Development Strategic Plan 2012-2020 with a focus on 6 main strategic directions:

  1. Tourism product development
  2. Marketing and promotion
  3. Connectivity and facilitation in travel and transportation
  4. Tourism safety system and impact managment
  5. Legal system and managerial mechanism
  6. Human resource management

Within the framework of the strategic direction of Human Resource Development, the Ministry of Tourism has encouraged and supported the tourism education and training in all forms and at all levels along the universities, training schools, organizations or national/international institutions to be intended to improve Cambodian tourist service quality more better in order to gain the regional and globally high competitiveness.

It is certain that the tourist service quality improvement must rely on not only training and education, but also paying high attention to good attitude performance. In this regards, it requires for a realistic and precise training to be aimed at getting Cambodian youth fully competent in line with the national and international standards, which will satisfy the tourists.

At present, even though the Ministry of Tourism and relevant stakeholders have made concerted efforts to set up and encourage the tourism professional training, Cambodian tourism remains lack competent tourism professionals in order to respond to the recently-increasing market needs. Following the study, Cambodia must train more 50 million tourism professionals.

In respond to the issue, the Ministry of Tourism has been cooperating with development partners, private sector, national and international educational institutions, in broadly increasing the training for tourism professionals. Obviously, the Ministry of Tourism has cooperated with AFD to establish the tourism professional training school, contributing to providing more tourism professional trainings for Cambodian youth, particularly cooperated with China, Khvang See, in establishing training school in Siem Reap, and signed with the Shift 360 Foundation Switzerland the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Culinary Training School, additionally making cooperation with other national and international organizations.

Moreover, within the framework of ASEAN tourism development, in conformity with the spirit of establishment of ASEAN Economy Community 2015, the member states endorsed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA), aimed at Pop Star Skin Care Barbies Kittens Barbie In The Name Of The Queen Barbie Graduation Party Dressup facilitating the mobility of tourism professionals in the region, and best practice exchange of training amongst the ASEAN member states for 32 job titles in Front Office, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage Services, Food Production, Travel Agencies, and Tour Operations of Hotel and Travel Services.

For Cambodia, The Royal Government established the National Committee for Tourism Professionals with the Ministry of Tourism being president in order to take responsibilities for the MRA implementation. Besides, Cambodia is able to develop its tourism professional training through carrying out the mechanism including conducting competency standard, curriculum, and other common ASEAN training packages. Along with this, ASEAN plans to provide training for 18 Cambodian master trainers and 18 Cambodian master assessors prior to 2014 in order to retrain other trainers nationwide, and to provide other technical assistance for training development.

In line with the policy of Human Resource Development in Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the National Committee for Tourism Professionals decided to dispatch 2 Cambodian competitors to firstly join the ASEAN Skills Competition 2012 in the Restaurant Service and Cooking skills area. Consequently, Cambodia got very satisfactory results with Medallion for Excellence, though the competition in this skill area is the first time for Cambodia. 

Excellencies, National and International Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen    

As Mr. Pin Sarapich mentioned the tourism professional training was successful, unless there were involvement of all relevant stakeholders through supporting both technically and financially with willingness to contribute to developing Cambodian youth’s skills. In this sense, the PSE Hotel School was successful because of the contribution of donors, confidence, and recognition of training quality from tour operators in Cambodia.

Seizing this opportunity, I would like to express my profound thanks to all the hoteliers, operators for having accepted the tourism students as trainees in their institutions, and for providing further trainings for their colleagues.

Last but not least, I would like to propose all the PSE’s donors kindly continuing to support this school in order to build up tourism professional trainings for Cambodian youth, and also PSE playing a role as a pilot school in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Committee for Tourism Professionals to contribute to successfully implementing the MRA in Cambodia.

May to wish Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, and the whole participants the four gens of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.            

Thank You!