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Title: Hotel employment and the community in Hawaii : a case study in development planning
Author: Merrill, William Dickey
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1974
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Tourism is the fastest growing industry in many communities and its effects on these communities can be profound. The acceptable level of these effects - limited by the number of visitors to be accommodated and the degree of welcome to be extended - is determined by the community's attitudes toward its resources as defined by its aims and objectives. Determination of such policy requires a clear understanding of the industry's true nature. The demands of the tourist and his direct effects on the community are the subject of notable interest and activity. The other side of the coin, i.e., the effect on the community of tourism-generated employment, is still the subject of more conjecture than research although, as has been recognized, it may create a threshold beyond which tourism's costs may outweigh its benefits. It is to a basic element of this structure - hotel employment - that this study is directed for an improved understanding of its precise composition, distribution, departmental structure, community relationships, and also of certain variables influencing these factors with predictable effect. To insure an understanding of this material and an appreciation of its applicability or nonapplicability in other settings, the presentation of the findings is preceded by a brief description of Hawaii, the area from which the data are derived, and of tourism - its costs and benefits, its problems of capacity, and its tourist personnel - as found and observed under these conditions. Previously uncollected data, consisting of all available and apparently significant facts regarding 1,602 employees in seven selected hotels with 2,378 guest rooms are extracted, recorded. and tabulated in various ways for different purposes. These are reduced to comparable ratios, relating to each hotel's capacity, for examination of departmental and hotel characteristics and relationships. Correlations are examined to expose cause-and effect relationships with dependable predictive value for the planner. This collation and analysis while pursued in depth is not done as an end in itself; in this it varies from other manpower and employment studies wherein the interest centres on the employee as a source of supply and demand. The end product of this exercise is an understanding of this employee's effects on the community - as a factor in the assessment of the tourist industry. It is found that the composite hotel employee is unique. To anticipate his effects very specific facts are needed - not only regarding his person, his numbers, and his type of employment, as other studies have found, but also regarding his household and his dependents, i.e., the total direct beneficiaries of this employment who will make demands on the facilities and services of the community. On a basis of the observed data and conditions it is posited that community growth is not a factor of total employment but of the number of householders who are employed and the number of such households' dependents. These previously unavailable data, necessary for a test of this hypothesis, are selected from the findings and applied to known conditions. The results, when these applications can be compared with past forecasts, axe quite different from those produced by the application of previously assumed data, and the results prove nearer the mark. A promise is indicated of a substantially improved statistical and theoretical base for projections of hotel employment and estimates of its effect - both of which are critical factors in assessing tourism's costs and benefits to the community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available