Proudly contributed by Anne JOURDE
Since 2016, an organization of a whole new genre has emerged in the Mekong Subregion, gathering inclusive training centres that share the following objectives:
- To offer a quality training and decent employment opportunities to vulnerable persons in the Hospitality & Catering sector
- To provide the sector with adequately trained workforce, thanks to innovative pedagogic methods and a strong focus on practice
- To create sustainable training models
Under the name of ASSET-H&C – standing for the Association of Southeast Asian Social Enterprises for Training in Hospitality & Catering, 14 schools, located in various cities of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, have decided to work hand in hand to better fulfil their common mission: bringing positive change in the lives of vulnerable youths and adults.
ASSET-H&C aims at becoming a key regional player in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as well as in sustainable hospitality and tourism.
With this objective in mind, the network organizes every year a conference open to representatives of hospitality businesses, NGOs, international organizations, local authorities… to champion a cause that is linked to its own activities.
In 2016, on December 14th in Bangkok, ASSET-H&C hosted an event around the theme of Inclusive Hospitality & Tourism, with a panel of guest speakers from the French Development Agency, AccorHotels, the Mekong Tourism Coordination Office, the International Organization for Migration and the Yunus Center-AIT.
The key point was to highlight the great paradox and unmet opportunities that actually exist in the region, where the tourism sector is expected to create 40 million jobs by 2025 only – with already a 8 shortage in workforce at the moment –, while there are, on the other hand, over 300 million youth in the same region that are either in vulnerable employment or in NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
The discussions were therefore focusing on solutions to bridge that gap and to make the hospitality & catering sector more inclusive, in order to ensure successful integration of vulnerable populations – including particularly youths, women and migrants.
In 2017, ASSET-H&C will be organizing a similar conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on December 7th.
This time, discussions will revolve around the topic of “Eco-Responsible Hospitality & Tourism” – a highly topic issue as 2017 has been declared the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Guest speakers will be hotel GMs, tourism agencies, environmental experts, heads of green local initiatives, and representatives of hospitality professionals.
For more information and to register, please visit: https://www.mekongtourism.org/events/asset-hc-save-date-conference-eco-responsible-hospitality-tourism/