Making news

Con Dao recruits more tourism personnel as demand rises

 Resorts and hotels on Con Dao Islands off the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are hiring hundreds of employees for various positions earlier than usual this year because of the increasing number of tourists.

“Tourism establishments on the island usually begin hiring personnel beginning in March, but the move began early this year,” the owner of the Duong Thuy Seafood shop said.

The Poulo Condor Resort, for example, is looking for 33 new employees for 14 types of jobs, while the Sai Gon Con Dao Resort and the Six Senses Con Dao Resort are recruiting seven new staff each.

Con Dao authorities offer training courses to residents, but young people often jump from job to job, a representative from Sai Gon Con Dao Resort’s recruitment department said.

More employees have been accepting jobs at smaller hotels that have higher salaries, but lower bonuses, than bigger companies, causing a hiring crunch at larger properties.

Many tourism establishments are also struggling to hire people from the mainland to work in restaurants and hotels.

The cost of living on the island is relatively high, so it is difficult for workers to stay long term if they do not have relatives to live with on the island.

In 2018, Co Dao welcomed more than 286,000 visitors, an increase of 17.3 percent compared over the previous year, a strong rise in domestic customers thanks to more convenient transport.

During the peak season, the Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) operates 20 flight services to the island per day, while the Vung Tau - Con Dao boat with a capacity of nearly 400 passengers operates daily. 

The Soc Trang - Con Dao boat provides four trips per day, carrying more than 300 passengers each trip.

More domestic customers are expected to increase this year thanks to a new high-speed express boat from Vũng Tàu, which began operation on February 15.
The trip takes three hours compared to the previous 13 hours on slower boats.

The express boat, with capacity of nearly 600 passengers, departs from Cau Da Port in Vung Tau city to Ben Dam Port on Con Dao Island at 8am and returns at 1.30pm on the same day.

The prices are 660,000 VND to 1.2 million VND (28.4-51 USD) one way.

Con Dao, located 180km from the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, is accessible by air and boat.

It once was used to house political prisoners during the French colonial era, and the US-backed Saigon regime later imprisoned leading Vietnamese revolutionaries in the infamous cells known as "tiger cages" on the island.

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

Con Dao also boasts pristine natural beauty with forested hills, deserted sandy beaches and extensive coral reefs.
Recently, the provincial authorities approved a master plan for tourism development to 2025 with a vision to 2030. The province will prioritise development of adventure tourism, eco-tourism and nature tourism on the islands.

It will also develop tourism products associated with relics, cultural and architectural works, and promote spiritual tourism, including visits to pagodas and temples.

Major sites include the Con Dao prison, Hang Duong cemetery, the memorial house of heroic martyr Vo Thi Sau in Dat Do district, and other historic sites such as Dinh Mountain, Minh Dam Mountain and Long Phuoc Tunnel.