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Con Dao Islands resorts, hotels struggle to recruit staff

By Vien Thong   February 17, 2019 | 05:00 pm PT
Con Dao Islands resorts, hotels struggle to recruit staff
Resorts and hotels in Con Dao are looking to hire hundreds of employees for various positions. Photo by VnExpress/Meo Gia
Con Dao Islands businesses are unable to hire staff despite flourishing tourism, with people preferring to work on the mainland.

Almost a week after Tet, Vietnam’s longest holiday of the year, resorts and hotels in Con Dao, a 16-island archipelago off the country's southern coast, are looking to hire hundreds of employees for various positions including managers, waitresses and tour guides.

The Poulo Condor Resort on the island is looking for 33 new employees for 14 positions, while the Saigon Con Dao Resort and the Six Senses Con Dao Resort are looking for seven new staff each.

Phuong Ly, head of recruitment at Saigon Con Dao Resort, said that more resorts and hotels are being built on the island but there are few experienced staff available to work in them.

"The local authority does provide training courses, but not many participate. Most staff are young people, so they jump between jobs very often."

Smaller businesses are also looking for people. A café on Pham Van Dong Street is looking for 32 staff, offering bonuses, meals, accommodation, social insurance and annual travel to the mainland.

Thuy, owner of a local seafood restaurant, said businesses start looking for staff in March when tourists start arriving in large number.

"But this year, many businesses are already short-staffed so we are already searching for people as the number of tourists has been rising. Last year, a tour guide could earn up to VND30 million ($1,296) a month during peak season."

Con Dao is 180 kilometers away from the shores of southern Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province, and accessible by air and boat.

Industry insiders said that attracting people from mainland to Con Dao to work is a challenging task given the long distance from the shores while most people don’t want lower income jobs like serving in restaurants, driving taxis or guiding tours.

The high cost of living on the island is another reason that people prefer to work on the mainland, they said.

Con Dao served as prison islands for political prisoners during the French colonial era, and in later years the Saigon regime imprisoned opponents of the regime in the infamous cells known as the "tiger cages".

The old prison buildings are still standing and are open to the public as is a small museum tracing Con Dao's history.

Con Dao also boasts pristine natural beauty with forested hills, sandy beaches and extensive coral reefs.

Last year, Con Dao welcomed over 286,000 tourists, up 17.31 percent from 2017.

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