The 2015 Global Hospitality, Tourism Marketing & Management Conference held at the Pullman Bangkok King Power hotel June 27-29, 2015 featured a lively panel discussion by tourism industry experts and researchers.
L-R Scott Smith, Dr Gehrels, Norman Allin, Andrew Wood
After an energizing welcome by Scott Michael Smith, Assumption University’s Course Coordinator from the Department of Hospitality & Tourism and popular tourism industry trainer, academics and industry experts participated in a panel discussion exploring;
‘The Effects of Tourism Development towards Business Expansion.’
Tourism industry experts joined the stage with academics and used Thailand as an example that united delegates from all fields, and used Thailand as an example with topics of interest to all participants.
The first topic, regarding human capital development, focused on employment branding and the research results of Dr. Sjoerd Gehrels, Professor of Applied Sciences, Innovation in Hospitality, at Stenden University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands. Employment branding refers to the association between employees and their organisation and includes potential strategies companies can use to attract and convince prospective employees.
Employment branding combines marketing and recruitment practices to allow customers, employees and other stakeholders, to recognise the desired organisation image.
Employment branding helps companies to increase employees’ brand commitment making it more likely that they stay longer. There is evidence that companies in the hospitality industry that have started to implement a strategic employment branding vision are more conscious of their human resources management practices.
While Thailand is often on the top of the list for best destinations, Dr. Gehrels said Thailand was also recognised by a recent World Travel and Tourism Council report as being at risk to meet manpower demand, “Thailand is about to experience the world’s biggest deficit of human resources (talent) for the Travel & Tourism Sector of -3.2% (negative balance between demand and supply of talent) from 2014 – 2024”, Dr. Gehrels explained.
This highlights the shortage of qualified applicants that Thailand’s tourism industry acknowledges has already begun.
Conference organisers were honoured to have 24-year veteran Thailand hotelier and the Immediate Past President of SKÅL International Thailand, Mr. Andrew J. Wood present a historical perspective to tourism development in Thailand and challenged Thailand’s tourism institutions to keep pace with the private sector’s need for manpower.
“Future employees must have a sincere spirit of hospitality, with a passion for service and enjoy making others happy”, he said.
During Mr. Wood’s presentation he identified that Thailand’s tourism industry, in 2014, accounted for 14.1% (5,383,000 jobs) of total employment. This will rise to almost 8m jobs by 2024.
The final panelist, Mr. Norman Allin, Managing Director of Worldwide Destinations Asia provided sage advice to today’s tourism industry discussing the technological advances and underscoring the importance of social media as a platform for connectivity. All travel companies need to recognise the importance of differentiating themselves from the masses and to fully understand the sweeping changes of how travel is bought and sold.
The 2015 Global Hospitality, Tourism Marketing & Management Conference (GHTMM 2015) held in conjunction with, the 4th International Conference on Social Sciences and Business (ICSSB 2015), the International Research Conference on Engineering and Technology (IRCET 2015), 2015 International Symposium on Life Science & Biological Engineering (ISLSBE 2015) gathered professors, researchers, scholars and industry leaders from across the globe to share experiences and present new advances and research results covering a diverse array of topics.
The team leader from the Taiwan based Higher Education Forum that expertly organised these multiple conferences, Ms. Candice Chang, expressed the sentiments of many delegates when she said, “Thailand is a great conference destination, it’s easy and good value – the air connections are great and hotels first rate. Add to that great food, shopping and happy smiles everywhere, I like coming here.”
Assumption University tourism students Miss Anusara Wattanawichian and Mr Atikhun Thongtang served as ambassadors of hospitality for this prestigious event.