UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Education, training, manpower planning and the persistence of manpower shortages : the case of Thailand’s tourism industry Prasirtsuk, Wannapa


Although manpower and educational planning have been used in some developing countries for a considerable time to ensure an adequate supply of qualified manpower for the economy, the problem of manpower shortages still persists. An analysis of the reasons underlying the presumed failure of planning processes to ensure adequate supplies of qualified manpower for individual sectors of the economy forms the basis of this study. The issue was examined through an examination of the case of one specific sector of Thailand's economy: the tourism industry. In particular, the study sought to ascertain whether the shortages are the result of problems with the national manpower and educational planning models or whether they reflect issues intrinsic to individual economic sectors. The study draws on the literature in three areas: manpower planning, the relationship between manpower and educational planning, and employment and manpower development planning in the tourism industry. To explore possible explanations for the persistence of manpower shortages in the Thai tourism industry, two kinds of data were used: documentary and interview data. The interviews were conducted with three groups of key informants: employers in the tourist business, providers of tourism education and training, and senior government officials who are involved in manpower and educational planning. A total of 85 people in four tourist centres in Thailand were interviewed. The analysis of the data confirms that there is a mismatch between manpower demand and supply in the Thai tourism industry with demand significantly surpassing supply. The study concluded that there are limitations in the manpower and educational planning models, and that there is a lack of some of the conditions required for their optimal functioning, but that the mismatch between supply and demand in the Thai tourism industry is more fully explained by features intrinsic to the industry itself. A Abstract balance between manpower demand and supply in any sectors would be improved by having manpower planning at the macro level well meshed with educational planning, and by developing linkages between two levels of planning: the national and industry level. More importantly, however, within the industry itself, those involved have to take a planning stance by diagnosing the way their own sector operates and collaborating to rectify the problems they find. This study has implications for policy and improved practice of the planning, production and development of manpower required by the Thai tourism industry. It also has lessons for other sectors of the Thai economy as well as other developing countries.

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.