THE Department of Tourism (DoT) said Thailand is experiencing a shortage of hotel workers as demand in that industry recovers, and will seek to employ Filipinos to fill the gaps.

In a statement on Monday, the DoT said Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco and Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, at an Aug. 18 meeting, reached an agreement on offering jobs to Filipinos.

“With the lifting of travel restrictions and resumption of tourism activities, the Thai tourism industry is currently facing a shortage in their workforce of 60% in hotel staff up to middle manager positions,” Mr. Phiphat said.

“There is preference towards professionals from the Philippines due to the Filipinos’ impressive command of the English language — a requirement in accommodating Thailand’s increasing foreign tourists and guests,” he added.

Ms. Frasco said that the DoT is currently in talks with the Department of Labor and Employment to conduct job fairs for such workers. The job fair will be held between Sept. 22 and 24.

She added that the DoT is currently surveying the Philippines’ own tourism workforce following the pandemic.

 “We note with serious consideration the shortage in the tourism workforce coming out of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic… (The job fairs will also be) for the purpose of ensuring that those that left the industry or may have been laid off from the industry during the time of pandemic would once again have the opportunity to be employed,” Ms. Frasco said.

Thailand and the Philippines have agreed to update their tourism cooperation agreement covering the period 2017-2022, which was signed on March 21, 2017.

The agreement covers travel facilitation, research, and development, education and training, tourism initiatives, human capital development and employment generation. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave