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.
Suvimol Thanasarakij”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 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 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 Suvimol.