Labor shortages dampen hope for tourism recovery in Vietnam

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 10, 2023
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HANOI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese tourism operators are finding it hard to recruit enough workers to cope with demand as tourists are coming back after the tough years of COVID-19, local media reported on Monday.

Vietnam's tourism sector is among the world's hardest hit as the country saw almost one third of all job losses occur in the industry, according to the International Labor Organization.

Many workers who were placed on furlough or lost their jobs during the pandemic decided to leave the sector, said the National Administration of Tourism, adding that 44 percent of workers with 5-10 years of experience and 90 percent of those with graduate degrees moved into other areas less affected by the pandemic to make a living.

Acute staff shortages are forcing owners of hotels, bars, restaurants and travel agencies in Vietnam to offer better pay for full-time workers responsible for multiple tasks, recruit more seasonal semi-qualified or unqualified workers and cut services, the VnEconomy reported.

Many tour operators said they had planned to address the issue of recruitment at the end of last year, however, they have managed to fill only 60 percent of open positions so far this year.

The tourism sector is currently in need of more than 485,000 workers to run at least 70 percent of its full capacity, said Cao Thi Ngoc Lan, vice chairwoman of the Vietnam Tourism Association.

The number of workers in the industry is forecast to grow to 800,000 by 2025 and to 1 million by 2030, resulting in an average of 60,000 vacancies each year, she added.

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam's tourism peaked in 2019, when the country welcomed 18 million international arrivals, earning more than 30.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Then COVID-19 struck, plunging the number of foreign tourists to 3.8 million in 2020, which dwindled to 157,300 in 2021. Since then, the Southeast Asian country received nearly 3.7 million arrivals last year, around 20 percent of the pre-pandemic levels after the country fully reopened its doors to foreign visitors.

To stimulate tourism to boost economic growth, the government has recently approved a plan to waive tourist visa requirements for more countries and permit an extended length of stay for international travelers.

Vietnam targets to receive 8 million foreign arrivals, earning about 27 billion dollars in revenue this year. Enditem

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