Case Study

Learning journeys: Ho Chi Minh City officials develop smart tourism skills through Chisholm.

When senior government officials from Ho Chi Minh City wanted to learn more about smart tourism, developing tourism products, promoting tourism destinations and sustainable tourism approaches, they approached training providers for advice. Chisholm was selected due to their extensive experience designing and managing executive education programs.


Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee


Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is set to become the nation’s leading economic hub for tourism, industrial services and high-tech agriculture.

Our client, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Home Affairs, wanted to update knowledge and practical experience for government leaders who manage tourism activities at different organisations throughout the city, including the Department of Tourism and the Divisions of Tourism and Culture of the People’s Committees at district levels.

The goal was to improve the effectiveness of tourism management activities in government organisations, create a competitive environment for tourism enterprises and help Ho Chi Minh City effectively manage local tourism potential.

We had previously worked with the Vietnam Government on a major project that trained 330 vocational teachers and delivered Australian qualifications to more than 700 students across 25 colleges in Vietnam. Success in this award-winning project led to engagement with other colleges, universities and Government organisations, including Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Home Affairs.

The challenge

Drawing on both relevant Australian, regional and local contexts, we designed a program that presented approaches to tourism in an adult learning environment through specialist lecturers, guest speaker presentations, site visits, case studies, discussion and reflection, country contextualisation and application activities.

Swan Taylor, Regional Senior Project Coordinator at Chisholm, explained the challenges faced in developing and delivering this project.

“Our concept proposal outlined an Executive Training and Study Tour approach, one that we had successfully implemented in Vietnam and with other governments and organisations globally,” she said.

“The challenge was to ensure that all client requirements were met, that subjects were covered in enough detail and that expert guest speakers were available during the timeframes that were set.

“We had to cover a wide range of topics, from smart tourism (tracking and forecasting) to destination management, engaging businesses, and branding and promotion. Also, we had to make sure that content was relevant to all participants, which was difficult as they were employed across a range of organisations.”

Working in both Vietnam and Victoria was also a challenge. Transglobal Education and Training (TET) assisted by providing logistical support in Vietnam and Australia.

The solution

With the client requirements defined, our Chisholm team (comprising tourism, education and international project expertise) developed a tailored Executive Education Training program.

Our program involved a week of workshops delivered in Ho Chi Minh City, followed by a week of site visits in Victoria. A total of 50 government officials participated in the workshops in Ho Chi Minh City, with 25 of them continuing to Australia for the practical site visits.

Daily presentations were designed to promote a high level of engagement and participation, with hands-on activities included where possible. Active participation was encouraged throughout the Study Tour. We developed content to ensure that participants could directly apply the knowledge they gained to their organisations in Ho Chi Minh City.

All guest speakers were experts in their field, and included Ecotourism Australia, Tourism Australia, Flight Centre and a former Executive at Air New Zealand.

Through presentations from Tourism Australia and Austrade, and site visits to Visit Victoria, Melbourne City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire and Phillip Island Regional Tourism Board, participants learned about tourism policy development, destination marketing and ecotourism and how it can be implemented at federal, state and local levels.

Additional site visits to tourism operators contributed significantly to participant outcomes. They included tours to Montalto Winery, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Koala Conservation Centre, Penguin Parade and Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, Marysville.

The result

The program was delivered successfully, with positive outcomes achieved and high levels of satisfaction expressed by participants. We were pleased to note that 100% of participants rated their overall satisfaction as high (‘excellent’ and ‘very good’). Importantly, they all agreed or strongly agreed that the program had assisted them in their return to work.

“I am very pleased with the Executive Training and practical Study Tour that Chisholm developed and delivered for our tourism managers."
“Our participants returned to their roles with the knowledge and skills they needed to implement new strategies that will build Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism offering into the future.”
- Jane Tran, Senior International Education Advisor, General Manager, TET and Vice President of Vietnamese Australian Scholars & Experts Association

Since this program was completed, we have continued our successful relationship with the Vietnamese government and TET, driving positive change through additional work in another Vietnamese province.

At Chisholm, we have been delivering executive education programs and major projects to international clients for over 20 years. Our clients have included government officials, senior managers in private industry and educational institutions from many countries, including Vietnam, China, Qatar, Kiribati and Sri Lanka.