Human resource development in the tourism sector in Thailand
The purpose of this study is three-fold: to examine how education and training for tourism have developed and operated in Thailand; to analyse the role of the public and private sectors in human resource development with specific reference to the hotel sub-sector in Thailand; and to identify how the public and private sectors can co-operate to improve the effectiveness of education and training in Thailand's hotel industry. Concepts from human resource development in tourism provide the theoretical framework for the investigation. Three propositions are put forward. (1) The quality of human resources presents a very significant constraint to tourism development because the tourism industry is labour-intensive. Thailand needs better-qualified personnel at all levels of the tourism industry to improve the overall level of service, and to be competitive in international tourism. (2) In developing countries, without strong government support and guidance, human resource development in the tourism sector will not take place. (3) The Thai government needs to play a supportive role in human resource development in tourism because the key to success is co-operation among the three main actors: the government, the tourism industry, and educational institutions. The data were obtained from interviews with three major stakeholders who influence human resource development for the hotel sub-sector of the tourism industry: government officials, hoteliers and educators. The thesis concludes that there are nine major human resource problems in Thailand. These problems were grouped into three main areas: human resource management, administrative structure and the general aspect. Government involvement in human resource development in Thailand should be active because of the absence of a developed and education-conscious private sector. The government should undertake a supportive role to ensure that basic tourism education and training activities are initiated. The private sector should have a greater involvement in contributing to a development strategy for tourism human resource development. Without strong commitment and co-operation among three main actors--the government, the industry and educators--the development of human resources in the tourism industry will be insufficient and delayed.