Mekong Tourism Office Promotes Internships to Plug Tourism Skills Gap
BANGKOK – The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office has launched the Mekong Tourism internship finder on MekongTourism.org. The initiative is designed to address labour challenges faced by the tourism industry and to be a useful tool for interns seeking entry into tourism.
The internship finder is primarily aimed at young people who are studying tourism and who would benefit from workplace experience. However, the internships are also open to people with aptitude, who are not yet in education or training.
The tourism sector, which contributes about 16% of GDP to the whole Mekong subregion, according to ResearchGate.net, is grappling with skill shortages. This deficit is impacting the quality of services offered to tourists and the overall sustainability of the industry, says the MTCO.
The Mekong Tourism internship finder programme will be a step towards resolving that issue, it says.
“The MTCO invites tourism industry players in the Mekong region who are recruiting, or plan to recruit, to advertise internships on our website at no cost,” says Ms Suvimol Thanasarakij (pictured), Executive Director of Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.
“We want the next generation of tourism professionals to be well-equipped, not just in theory, but in practice. We want to elevate industry standards. First-hand on-the-job experience is vital to that process,” says Ms Suvimol.
The Mekong Tourism internship finder will feature tourism internship opportunities in Cambodia, China’s Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The MTCO says that the project has four goals: facilitating hands-on experience, by working alongside existing professionals in travel and hospitality roles; imparting both technical and soft skills; ensuring that students are industry-ready upon graduation; and building connections between tourism businesses and students, including recent graduates.
“We are confident that the internship initiative will enhance human capital development in the region and be instrumental in elevating the quality of services and experiences that the Mekong region offers to tourists,” says Ms Suvimol.
The Mekong Tourism Internship page is available at https://mekongtourism.org/internship/.
Interested employers should complete and submit the following form: https://mekongtourism.org/mekong-tourism-internship-form-for-employers/
ABOUT MEKONG TOURISM COORDINATING OFFICE (MTCO)
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)- comprising Cambodia, Yunnan and Guangxi provinces in China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, is one of the world’s most dynamic tourist destinations. The six GMS governments established the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) in 2006, as a tourism collaboration framework, with its objective to develop and promote the Mekong Region as a single tourism destination. MTCO’s role is to coordinate activities that boost tourism’s contribution to inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability in the GMS. The MTCO work plan is guided by the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG), which is made up of senior representatives of the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) of the six member countries. MTCO activities are supported by the Asian Development Bank.