The Ministry of Labour expressed concerns about personnel shortages in the tourism industry as Thailand continues to welcome more international travelers.
Even though employee revenue from hotel service charges has nearly reached pre-pandemic levels as Chinese tourists begin to visit Thailand again, workers are still hesitant to return to the hospitality sector.
Permanent Secretary of Labor Boonchob Suttamanuswong stated that he has recently met with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), the Tourism Council of Phuket, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and related agencies to discuss labor shortages in the tourism industry.
The ministry recently conducted a survey on personnel shortages in the tourism industry and discovered that out of 32,359 businesses in 60 provinces, about 1,817 operators require workers for their businesses, totaling 9,763 people. Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phangnga, and Surat Thani are the top five provinces where workers are in short supply in the tourism industry. Employers are looking for receptionists, porters, waiters, cleaners and housemaids, cooks, kitchen staff, cashiers, and accountants.
According to Boonchob, THA has reported that while five-star hotels have enough manpower to welcome guests during the New Year holidays, the three-star and four-star hotels faced personnel shortages which affected their service operations. These agencies expressed their worry since labor shortage remains a big issue as foreign arrivals are increasing in the upcoming days.
Meanwhile, ATTA has expressed concerns about the lack of tour guides as foreigners continue to arrive in the country. The association proposed a legal change that would allow foreigners to work as tour guides to alleviate manpower shortages.
The permanent secretary stated that, in order to address the issue in the long-term situation, the Department of Skill Development will launch a program to upskill final-year undergraduates studying tourism and hospitality. The department will also work with businesses in the field to hire them upon graduation, providing businesses with skilled employees for the tourism industry.
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