The Regent Group yesterday has launched its Bt80-million Regent Cha-am Hospitality School to offer international academic courses that will enhance the skills of Thai professionals so that they can work in the international hospitality industry.
The grand opening was presided over by Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangku Piyaman Tejapaibul, Executive Director of the hospitality school and managing director of the Regent Cha Am Beach Resort, said the investment in the school project will address the shortage of trained service industry staff. “Over 30 years in this business, we have seen a shortage of Thai hospitality workers,” he said. Although tourism slowed down last year, it is expected to get better this year. One of the keys to achieving sustainable tourism amid increasing global competition is to have good operating staff in the service industry.
This will also add to preparations for the Asean Economic Community. Thailand’s expertise in tourism can also be shared with students from all over the world. The group plans to network with regional hoteliers to open hotel schools nationwide, especially in border provinces, Piyaman said. Auggaphol Brickshawana, Managing Director of Regent Cha-am Hospitality School, said tourism had enjoyed average double-digit growth every year.
Thailand has about 13,800 hotels with 550,000 rooms and the supply will continue to rise by 10 per cent annually. This year the industry will need more than 108,000 workers, divided into food service at 35 per cent, housekeeping 25 per cent, food and beverages 25 per cent and front office 15 per cent. This deficiency will continue to rise about 10 per cent each year. The curriculum is designed to enable students to work efficiently at an operating level. The school is confident that once they complete the program, they will have a variety of opportunities in the service industry. The programs are prepared for internationally oriented employment in Asean countries, through a competencybased curriculum.