This is due to be presented at the same conference on Friday:
Language Roles and Model Tour Companies in the Competitiveness of the Thai Tourism Industry
Thavorn Thitthongkam1,*, John Walsh2 and Kantatip Sinhaneti3
Language plays an important role in supporting the competitiveness of the Thai tourism industry. It facilitates communication among tourism staff and international tourists. However, students as prospective tourism staff are not competent to communicate successfully to global best practice standards. As part of acquiring competence in language skills, students should be trained in advance and in detail. This paper examines the interviewees’ perspectives about model tour companies and analyzes the language roles in those model tour companies, while investigating the guidelines and processes in organizing such companies. It also studies problems and solutions involved in managing a model tour company. In-depth, face-to-face qualitative interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 30 tour company managers, 4 lecturers, 20 tour guides and 80 students who had experience in managing or otherwise being involved in tour companies. Semi-structured interview forms were created to obtain the information required to answer the research questions. Analysis of existing secondary data sources including books, journals and online databases has also been integrated into the paper. The results of the paper highlight the positive view required for managing the model tour company and emphasize the importance of the role of language. Language increases the possibility of working and competition for the model tour company. Tourism educational institutions need to provide enough foreign language skills training for students. It is suggested that improving the quality of human resources for tourism industry is needed.
Keywords: Competitiveness, Language roles, Model tour company, Tourism management, Tourism industry