You are on page 1of 12


Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

Planning tourism employment: a developing country perspective

Abby Liua, Geoffrey Wallb,

Faculty of Tourism, Aletheia University, Taiwan Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont., Canada N2L 3G1 Received 29 August 2003; accepted 16 August 2004

Abstract It is argued that tourism planning should be about planning for residents as well as for visitors. If tourism is to be a positive force in the lives of local residents, it is contingent upon local response, involvement and support. Many tourism plans for developing area destinations give inadequate attention to human resources development. Furthermore, many tourism plans espouse forms of tourism that do not t well with existing human resources capabilities so that local people nd it difcult to participate in tourism and, in consequence, benet less than might otherwise be the case. Human resources development often focuses on the employment needs of large international companies, especially in hospitality, to the neglect of the employment requirements and opportunities in tourism more broadly conceived. In an attempt to expand perspectives on human resources development in tourism planning, a policyindustrylocality framework is proposed together with associated research questions and data requirements. r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Developing countries; Employment; Human resources; Planning; Tourism policy

1. Introduction Tourism is commonly used as a tool to stimulate marginal economies and to promote development through the jobs and incomes that it can foster. Although not always explicitly stated, it is often hoped that it will reduce hardships through the promotion of upward labor mobility. However, the experience with tourism is varied, partly because of the many forms that it can take and also because of the varying abilities of destinations to attract tourists and to cater to their needs. Thus, there is no widely accepted consensus on what tourism brings because the consequences are contingent, varying from place to place. In the context of developing economies in particular, tourism is often a contested development strategy and the promotion of tourism as a leading economic sector frequently raises substantial debates.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 519 885 1211x3609; fax: +1 519 746 2031. E-mail address: (G. Wall).

There is no established consensus on the denitions of developed and developing countries. A developing economy in this paper refers to countries whose gross national income per capita falls under the world mean of USD 5120 (World Bank, 2004). They commonly have other attributes such as a relatively large proportion of the population in agriculture and high pressure of population on resources. In the developing world, tourism is usually implemented through a top-down planning approach. Decision-making in such tourism developments is predominately based on the interventions of government agencies and large tourism rms, resulting in the dominance of external, often foreign, capital and the marginalization of local people. Thus, although tourism often appears to be attractive as one of a limited number of economic options, at the same time it is frequently alleged that local inhabitants fall prey to tourism. Local residents are frequently under-represented in the tourism development, both as investors and decision makers. This is because they lack knowledge of tourism and associated skills, and because of the priority placed upon economic growth by the policy

0261-5177/$ - see front matter r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2004.08.004

160 A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

makers, with little concern for equity (Cohen, 1982, 1996, Chapter 10). Thus, the local share of economic benets is often small. While tourism has gained prominence in the social and economic agendas of all levels of government and academics continually espouse the need to involve local people, sufcient attention is rarely accorded to the means by which the capabilities of local people to respond to tourism opportunities can be enhanced. Although there is a substantial literature on human resources in tourism, it is seldom linked to the broader development literature (although there are recent exceptions such as Telfer, 2002). It will be argued that, as a result, the initiatives that are taken often aggravate rather than resolve local employment dilemmas. This paper will address the relative neglect (as compared, for example, with infrastructure, transportation or marketing) of human capital in tourism planning. Although most national and regional tourism plans now incorporate a human resources component, content is often focused narrowly on hospitality services rather than the tourism industry more broadly conceived. Similarly, the plethora of academic studies on tourism employment and service quality concentrate on hospitality and are seldom linked to broader employment and planning issues. Based on a set of propositions rooted in the literature, a policyindustrylocality framework will be suggested as a guide for the reexamination of tourism employment and tourism human resources issues in developing countries in the context of policy making and planning.

2. Tourism as a development strategy Tourism, as practiced in developed countries, is essentially an economic endeavor, whereas in developing countries it is mainly about leisure consumption as a path to development (Jenkins, 1980). This consumption generates jobs and tourism may be the only remunerative employment possibility in poor and peripheral regions where few other options are available to improve their marginal economic status. Tourism has a high need for human capital and offers a diversity of jobs in a variety of operations of varied sizes and types (Szivas, Riley, & Airey, 2003). Tourism industry characteristics, such as high labor accessibility, absorption and mobility, may be particularly welcome during times of economic transition (Szivas & Riley, 1999). Nevertheless, a division, amplied by poor communications, exists between academics and practitioners in tourism (Briedenhann & Wickens, 2004; Jenkins, 1999). In contrast to government spokespersons that see tourism as a means of development, academics often comment upon tourism in pejorative terms, bemoaning negative impacts and emphasizing the need to preserve

traditions and environments. They often assume that the host population is likely to resent the alterations to their lifestyles caused by tourism and will be reluctant to accept the trade-offs involved. A community-based development approach is advocated in much tourism writing to try to ensure that the benets accrue locally and to address such concerns as cultural change, environmental degradation and economic dependence. But often inadequate attention is given to the host communities abilities to energize growth, to market their products effectively to the wider world and to manage their resources to achieve maximum benets (Pearce, 1990). Din (1986, p. 6) pointed out that the local involvement perspective on tourism development is somewhat wishful, if one considers the human resources of the local area. For tourism to spring up spontaneously, the locals need to be preadapted, in terms of motivation, awareness and experiences, to the market culture. Most importantly, tourism is promoted in policy agendas on the grounds that it will enhance the lives of local people and, as such, tourism planning should be as much about planning for residents as planning for visitors. Limited attention has been paid to human dimensions of tourism planning and, although there is a substantial literature on what tourism planning ought to be (Gunn, 1988; Inskeep, 1991), it is not matched by analyses of what it actually is. There have been surprisingly few attempts to evaluate the efcacy and outcomes of tourism plans. The challenge, then, is to enable host communities to acquire control over the development and to assume productive involvement in the tourism industry (Hall, 1996). However, this is little more than rhetoric unless greater prominence is given in reality to local capacity and to the enhancement of the competence of the permanent residents of destination localities. Many, perhaps most, communities in the developing world may require an outside catalyst to stimulate interest in tourism development and external expertise to take full advantage of their opportunities.

3. Priorities of tourism policies and plans The growth in recognition of tourism as a development strategy is reected in the large number of tourism plans produced in the last two to three decades; even in 1980 the World Tourism Organization (WTO) was able to establish an inventory of over 1600 tourism plans (Pearce, 1989). Yet tourism-related policies and plans have not generally met the expectations of host communities, both because of the contents of the plans themselves and the ways in which they have been, or failed to have been, implemented. Many tourism polices that have been promulgated worldwide bear an altruistic

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 161

facade, integrating diplomatic interest, cultural exchanges, social improvement and even world peace as purposes but goals and objectives are often specied in numbers of visitors (objectives that can be readily met if visitors are given free trips!). Yet the driving force for pursuing tourism, regardless of the level of development, is almost always the expectation of its positive economic benets (Wanhill, 1994). However, since local people in the developing world are usually unfamiliar with the workings of a service economy, tourism is often institutionalized and manipulated predominately by bureaucratic initiatives (Liu & Wall, 2003). Examination of the contents of tourism policies and plans suggests that tourism practitioners tend to work in a partition that is sometimes self-imposed and frequently reects their terms of reference. There appears to be a built-in tendency characterizing many feasibility and planning studies that treats tourism as a discrete subject, rather than recognizing its true position as part of a complex development whole (Lea, 1996, p. 123). As a result, the plans often fail to address or give adequate consideration to all areas of concern affecting tourism. Tourism authorities generally view good tourism planning as leading to stimulation of the growth of the tourism industry and their major responsibility is simply to speed applications for development of tourism projects (Godfrey, 1998, p. 213). Human resources considerations have been incorporated into many national tourism plans. The well-known employment effects of tourism are generally a critical theme addressed in the tourism plans but their signicance is usually only acknowledged in narrow quantitative terms, i.e. the number of jobs that will be generated. The quality of the jobs and the qualication requirements of the tourism workforce tend to occupy, at best, a few lines. There is seldom serious consideration of possible measures to cultivate the needed human capital. Similarly, the ownership of tourism establishments, particularly the hosts ability to grasp the proprietorship of local tourism enterprises, has not been widely addressed (Smith, 1994). For example, Omans tourism plan that was prepared in 1991 has as a main objective to induce Omanis to select tourism as a career and ultimately to achieve Omanization of the workforce in the tourism sector (WTO, 1994). The review of labor supply and demand in the plan is narrowly dened with the main consideration given to employment in the hotel sector only. Efforts were to be made to acquaint Omanis with tourism skills and the English language, and to remove cultural barriers to entering tourism jobs (WTO, 1994). Mexicos 19891994 Tourism Plan has a broader scope that stresses education and tourism training as important strategic elements of the plan (Casado, 1997, p. 47). Government initiatives were to be put in place to develop students vocational, professional, and re-

search skills to create the scientic and technological knowledge necessary to increase the level of efciency and productivity of the industry and to place the country on the cutting edge of international competition in this eld (Casado, 1997, p. 47). However, Mexicos plan exemplies another common problem: tourism plans generally recommend the development of a quality product for an upscale market requiring the provision of high quality services. In other words, this means aspiring to international standards and the meeting of increasingly sophisticated market demands. In the 18-year program (19822000) prepared by the State Administration for Travel and Tourism (SATT) in China, one of the eight measures related to the cultivation of the tourism workforce was aimed to improve the caliber of the industry personnel in order to improve the image of Chinas tourism (Zhang, 1985). The pursuit of professional quality continues to be a fundamental goal of Chinas human resources development effort for tourism. The most gratifying tourism success in China is seen as the emergence of the rst group of professionals who are marked by the CNTA as being dedicated (love what they do), professional (know what they are doing, know how to do their jobs and observe work ethics) and open-minded (ready to learn) (Wei, 1999, p. 24). In many plans, the local culture and the indigenous way of life have become part of product development. They are viewed much more as attractions than as beneciaries of tourism (Din, 1982; Cohen, 1996; Liu & Wall, 2003). For instance, the tourism master plan in Malaysia makes no specic suggestions regarding possible measures to encourage the indigenous population or bumiputras (the autochthonous population including Malays, aborigines of Peninsular Malaysia, native groups of Sabah and Sarawak) to participate in tourism (Din, 1982, 1997). Consequently, while academics and tourism planners have recognized that community involvement in tourism is essential, especially if it is intended that the destination communities are to benet, useful techniques and mechanisms to achieve this are seldom identied and implemented. Often, little more is done than the hiring of a few local experts at modest remuneration to assist the highly paid team of consultants. More recently, as a part of external funding agencies requirements and commitments, tourism policies and plans for developing countries have embodied the need to facilitate participation of the indigenous communities and individuals in various forms of development. Commitment to promoting indigenous participation and capacity building for local involvement have been stated explicitly by many tourism agencies, for example, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia (1999) and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Environment and Communications, Swaziland (2000).

162 A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

Thus, it appears that human resources development has become an integral component of national tourism plans, albeit with a narrow focus on the hospitality industrys stafng requirements. At the same time, tourisms human resource issues are poorly conceptualized and the many studies of tourism development approaches, both theoretical and practical, provide no consolidation of useful recommendations to situate the human dimension as an integral part of a comprehensive planning framework for tourism. With references to tourism in a developing economy, the review of issues related to tourism planning and employment generation, as discussed above, justies the pressing need to give greater attention to human resources development and to incorporate it into tourism plans as a priority.

4. Tourism human resources Tourism strategy implemented in developing countries is inherently a government-led development exercise and is highly politicized to meet their own social and economic agendas (Richter, 1983). Such development approaches, as ascertained by Theuns and Rasheed (1983), have substantial implications for the mechanisms adopted by the public sector to plan tourism human capital. These human resource requirements, in turn, have consequences for the choice of type and content of tourism programs. Thus, the general approach to tourism education and training, when large-scale and capital-intensive types of development predominate in the tourism plans, has been typically concerned with creating the human resources needed to work for others (Echtner, 1995, p. 121). This is due apparently to the reluctance of tourism planners and educators to devise appropriate measures to cater to the employment needs of all sizes of enterprises, ranging from the large multi-national corporations, through medium-size rms to small, indigenous business units. Tourism human resource studies (or merely tourism employment impact assessments) are generally a reection of the manifestations of tourism as a stimulus for economic growth. Research in tourisms human resources has been generally undertaken from two broad perspectives: human resources requirements (industrys stafng needs) and employment impact studies (Elkin & Roberts, 1994). Employment effects of tourism development are sought out because this information is useful to elicit nancial aid from government agencies and to solicit the support of destination communities and residents for further tourism development. Although the examples that are extracted are often quantitative in nature, on many occasions they distort the true tourism employment effects, since only a narrow range of jobs is incorporated in the analyses. More recent studies have aided understanding of tourism employment through

exploration of the dynamics of labor markets (e.g. Szivas & Riley, 1999; Riley, Ladkin, & Szivas, 2002; Szivas et al., 2003) and inclusion of the informal sector (e.g. Cukier & Wall, 1994; Timothy & Wall, 1997). However, as observed by Baum (1994, p. 259), the position of human resource concerns within the process of tourism policy formulation and implementation has not been subjected to widespread academic analysis. The dynamic nature of the tourism labor market (i.e. high labor mobility between organizations, wide rage of remuneration levels, seasonality, etc.), further complicates the matter leading to planning difculties (Riley et al., 2002). In developing countries, competition for jobs in tourism by a large, often very young and undereducated population also presents a daunting challenge for regulators and planners (Liu & Wall, 2003). Often the magnitude of the tourism economy is reduced because of the dilemma that many developing countries do not have the technical expertise nor the education and training programs in place to cultivate their citizenry who wish to become involved in tourism (Milne, 1990). A sub-Saharan African study indicated that a shortage of skilled labor was responsible for the dismal performance of the tourism industry (Ankomah, 1991). Lipscomb (1998, p. 189) pointed out that the scarce human resources to market the Solomons as a destination and lack of training and expertise among indigenous operators were major tourism liabilities. There is also a concern about imbalances between the demand for, and supply of, skilled tourism staff as an inhibiting factor to growth in Turkish tourism (Brotherton, Woolfenden, & Himmetog lu, 1994; Kusluvan & Kusluvan, 2000). Many countries in the Asia Pacic region, in spite of their economic dependence on tourism, are faced with a shortage of skilled labor (Sinclair & Vokes, 1993; Hitchcock, 1993). In China, the lack of experience of tourism personnel in catering to tourists needs and managing tourism facilities and their unfamiliarity with tourism service culture have made the development process difcult (Choy & Gee, 1983; Oudiette, 1990; Liu & Wall, 2003). Hitchcock (1993, p. 313) noted that the growth of tourism has been a mixed blessing in the Komodo Islands, Indonesia, because [tourism employment] is overlooked by the authorities and lacking the appropriate skills and education, the islanders have been unable to participate in the new development. One of the factors that hinders tourism in the Philippines is the lack of trained human resources at the required standard and quantity (WTO, 1994, p. 139). A similar dilemma is also observed in Thailand: Thailand has an ample manpower supply, but experiences the difculty and shortage of trained personnel to ll the jobs for different skills, capabilities and levels of professionalism (Esichaikul & Baum, 1998, p. 361). Such chronic shortages of trained local individuals have led to an

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 163

unfavorable situation: managerial and other senior positions are lled by expatriates and the unskilled and correspondingly lower paying positions are left to the locals (Echtner, 1995). In order for economic benets of tourism to be realized and retained locally, the nurturing of local capacity is indispensable. Unfortunately, in an attempt to build up destination competitiveness, the quest for the so-called international services standards is frequently at odds with the community development paradigm for tourism. It is usually assumed that the accumulation of a set of basic skills is the ultimate goal of training, but operational competence is merely one facet of broader tourism education and training needs. This simplistic approach is not only counterproductive in stimulating indigenous tourism growth, it may also further perpetuate and aggravate a culture of subservience. Slow recognition of this by government agencies and a narrow range of education and training initiatives adopted by tourism educators are important reasons that underpin the prevalent view of hosts as victims in tourisms NorthSouth encounters. In a developing economy, deciencies in human capital, albeit with a labor surplus with low skills and qualications and lack of tourism expertise, have been a major obstacle preventing the host population from participating effectively in tourism employment. An industry-driven desire to satisfying the human resources requirements of large-scale operators results in the promulgation of education and training approaches for tourism that are rooted in the narrow pursuit of service quality and the mastery of technical skills. As a result, community involvement is considered to be a luxury and is set aside. Furthermore, the resulting human resources development strategy (as commonly found in tourism plans) is supercial because it does not reect the varied demands and opportunities that tourism brings to a destination. There appears to be a general oversight by governments to address the connection between education, ability to deliver a quality tourism experience and the need to develop a sustainable tourism industry (Barron and Prideaux, 1998, p. 224). At the same time, an apprehensive attitude towards tourism and its associated employment effects have become pervasive, mainly because of questionable remuneration levels and the enormous social and cultural implications of tourism. If these concerns are acknowledged, it is reasonable to ask what measures might be taken to address them and how do the hosts evaluate tourism employment? These observations underpin research needs to address issues of employment generation and projections of the number and skills of the employees that are needed and available for future industry expansion. They also call attention to the impediments that reduce the tourism employment effects across different scales of

tourism economies. Thus, it is essential that the complex and dynamic relationships that exist between tourism policies and their effects on the structure and distribution of employment and the status of tourism jobs be evaluated in the human resources planning process for the tourism sector. The above reections on challenges and opportunities in developing countries tourism strategies indicate that tourism employment studies require further renement. The topics that need to be addressed include:


involvement of women, minorities and children; quality and quantity of tourism jobs; size of the informal tourism economy and undeclared employment; labor mobility and skill requirements; cultural concerns and other impediments for entering tourism employment; possibility of structural unemployment or opportunity cost (i.e. displacement effect) induced by uctuation in tourism business; and employment opportunities and challenges presented by tourism-related policies.

5. Conceptualization of research needs and opportunities In order to better integrate human resources development into planning initiatives, a conceptual framework to guide the examination of a variety of research issues is proposed based on three main components: (1) broad tourism policy issues that directly affect the planning of tourism human capital; (2) the associated common tourism employment concerns pertaining to a developing economy; and (3) the extent to which local people are aware of and respond to the various employment opportunities created by tourism. The framework, which is presented in Fig. 1 and extended in Fig. 3, incorporates a range of issues, including the policy objectives to achieve economic goals, the industrial sectors operational requirements and individuals employment needs, into the process of developing strategies for tourism. Based on the conceptual considerations outlined above, developing countries approaches to the creation of human capital for their tourism operations are placed within a policyindustrylocality framework. The framework differs from a conventional industry-orientated approach used by many tourism employment studies in the explicit inclusion of policy impacts and local capacities. It implies that tourism human resources studies should move beyond narrow industrial considerations to recognize explicitly the profound effects that policy initiatives, as a directive for future action, have on local involvement in tourism. The main components

164 A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

Tourism Policies Education institutes Configuration of tourism employment

Industry Industry


Paid employment Informal sector

Fig. 1. Conceptual Framework for Studying Tourism Human Resources and Employment Issues (PolicyIndustryLocality Framework).

requiring further research attention focus upon the interrelationships among the following areas:


factors that impinge upon tourism policy and development strategies and the extent to which such factors affect the structure of tourism employment and the approaches to human resources development; impediments that preclude indigenous people from participating in tourism-related economic activities; and using the results generated from the above, development of means that facilitate locals entry and job advancement in the tourism sector, using training and education as tools.

Key elements required in the study of tourism employment are identied in Fig. 1. First, the framework provides a structure that incorporates a wide range of actors and complex issues that impinge upon the production of tourism employment and human capital. The creation of employment depends largely upon the three key forces identied in Fig. 1: policy background (i.e. ideology, values, alternatives), industry attributes (i.e. structure, entry threshold, stafng) and institutions (i.e. education, training). In recognition of the fragmented nature of tourism, attention is given to categorization of the job characteristics of and challenges confronted by tourism enterprises of all sizes, including both large corporate and craft level operations. Deliberately playing down the most commonly used industrial typologies (e.g. hotel, tour operator, attraction and carrier) used in tourism employment studies, business proprietorship (i.e. paid-employment, self-employment

and informal) is used as a criterion to classify jobs in tourism. Working denitions of each employment category are adapted from the International Labour Organization (ILO). Paid employment jobs are those jobs where the incumbents hold explicit (written or oral) or implicit employment contracts which give them a basic remuneration which is not directly dependent upon the revenue of the unit for which they work (ILO, 2004a). Self-employment jobs are those jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the prots (or the potential for prots) derived from the goods and services produced (ILO, 2004a). The informal sector refers to those performing legitimate but non-observed economic activities which are not subject to national labor legislation, income taxation, social protection or entitlement to employment benets (ILO, 2004b; The Economist, June 19th, 2004). This classication is useful in: (1) determining the inuences of policy directives on the conguration of tourism employment; (2) evaluating the extent to which industrial operators and institutional support from the education sector contribute to the tourism job market; and (3) establishing the sources, quality and mobility of labor. The three groupings are hypothetical in this paper because they are not applied to a specic case. In reality, the lack of inclusive employment data may frustrate the making of precise numerical calculations. The sizes of the formal, informal and self-employed groups are depicted in dashed lines, indicating that these will vary with local characteristics and over time. Specic areas for investigation can be selected to reect different political, cultural and social attributes which can contribute to further elaboration of tourisms

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 165

human resources issues. For example, in China, conceptualization of tourism employment and human resource issues within a centrally dominant decisionmaking process can be embedded in policy implications for devising education and training infrastructure while addressing a specic context of economic transformation. In this case it is appropriate to concentrate on:


the signicance of economic transition from a command to free-market system; ideological imperatives versus a tourism culture of service; national priorities as opposed to industry interests; policy implications for the expansion of the tourism industry; and tourism workers cultural adaptation and services values.

In a different cultural and political setting, different issues will emerge. For instance, in Malaysia, where ethnicity is important and rural development is being given high priority, rural tourism initiatives, ethnic diversity and cultural sensitivity all merit attention. It is appropriate to question the adequacy of the ethnicitydriven approach to the development of tourism human resources through examination of:


tourism development initiatives; tourism as a means of social engineering to achieve desired employment equality; ethnic and cultural determinants of human resource development strategies; and the role of human resources in rural tourism development.

An advantage of the proposed conceptual framework is that it caters to the integration of information from both horizontal and vertical facets. Examples of the former include analyses of inter-relationships between factors, e.g. the three-way relationship between tourism policies, the structure of the tourism industry and the nature of local involvement in tourism. Examples of the latter are issues associated with the three main categories of tourism employment and their respective characteristics. The framework is exible and can accommodate the different tourism settings exemplied by destinations with their diverse characteristics and also support the synthesis of tourism studies undertaken from a variety of perspectives. To return to the Chinese and Malaysian examples, this means that investigations of Chinas tourism human resource issues can emphasize the political-economy context, employment issues in a time of economic transition and implications of a centrally dominant system. In Malaysia, reconceptualization of the key investigation areas is required, for example from an emphasis on the political economy to cultural politics

(Islamism), economic transition to employment equity, and from a centrally dominant system to an ethnicityled system. Acknowledging these differences in emphases, the same research framework could be applied to both countries. This permits the recognition and examination of diverse tourism milieus, thereby avoiding the tendency to resort to tourism employment stereotypes. The application of the research framework requires the use of a wide range of data if a thorough understanding of the complex employment-related issues is to be achieved. Both hard (numerical) data and soft (interpretative) information are needed. A two-pronged approach can be used to analyze this quantitative and qualitative information. Initially, secondary data can be collected from government reports and academic literature as a point of departure for gaining background information to highlight problem areas and to identify specic issues to be tackled. Generalizations concerning tourism policies and planning approaches thus established can be used to guide the choice of case study themes and locations. In this way, specic issues can be understood within the overall policy environment in which they operate, including development goals and objectives, ideological values, planning theories and practices, and decision-making processes. The application of a policyindustrylocality schema to approach tourism employment and human capital issues can be fruitful in generating a variety of research questions (e.g. policy trends, local industry characteristics and the nature of the hosts involvement in tourism) and related results (e.g. inuences of tourism policy on employment creation). However, the research needs related to human resources in tourism are substantial and complex. The one-way policyindustrylocality schema can be expanded into a broader conceptualization, which is organized as a tourism human resources matrix, as presented in Fig. 2. The framework is a device for generating research questions that suit academic, planners and managers specic objectives. This, in turn, will facilitate the production of pertinent insights from different perspectives. In principle, the distribution of tourism expenditures directly determines the formation of tourism employment. There are, however, other key factors that are often overlooked in tourisms human resources studies. Tourism policies (reecting power structure), local labor conditions (e.g. gender relationships, minority participation) and accessibility to the industry (i.e. tourism education and training opportunities) are three important determinants shaping the nature of the hosts involvement in tourism and the employment structure, including the creation of different types of tourism jobs. Fig. 2, which conceptualizes components to be considered in research of human resources in tourism,

Constructs Tourism employment categories Paid employment Selfemployment Informal Tourism policies 1 4 7 Employment structure Accessibility Labor conditions to industry 2 5 8 Supply and demand 3 6 9 Social and cultural transition

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

Directives Distribution of tourism expenditures Tourist types Establishment sizes Development scale


Fig. 2. Tourism human resources matrix (adapted from Mitchell (1994, p. 200).

illustrates how different forces inuence the patterns of tourism employment and describes the sources and types of inuences. It is possible, with the use of the matrix, to emphasize information that is specic to an individual cell or to highlight linkages with other elements for the purpose of generating propositions (a combination of rows or columns). For instance, as an illustration of the application of the matrix, cell 1 raises questions such as the inuences of tourism policy on the generation of tourism jobs in paid employment relative to tourists

State level tourism administration Regional level tourism administration Community representatives Industrial associations Education institutes

Collaborative agencies

Evaluation, Identification, Projection, Formulation

Learning facet

Advancement facet Operational facet output feedback managerial skilled

semi-skilled vocational skills innovation development (operational) scale technical knowledge

Accommodation Administration, marketing and management Tour operators intermediates Transportation

Retailers &Restaurants

Attractions & amusements

Petty traders & other services providers

Fig. 3. Human Resources Development Framework for Tourism.

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 167

expenditures, tourist types, establishment sizes and development scale. Further, by placing cell 1 as a reciprocal to directives or to effects, attention is drawn to relationship between the level of policy support and the creation of paid employment in tourism (the column tourism policies or cells 1, 4 and 7). The matrix can also be used to suggest multi-faceted studies by combining rows or columns. As implied in Fig. 2, tourism is a dynamic process involving many factors, which introduce considerable challenges as well as new opportunities in destinations. Thus, there is a need not only to endow the hosts with the necessary skills and knowledge to take part in the employment opportunities, but also to enhance understanding and appreciation concerning tourism culture and, ultimately, to increase their capabilities to mould tourism or manage their involvement in it in such a way that it ts into their own agendas. Yet, if human resources remain poorly appreciated in the planning and development process, tourism may falter, relying upon foreign expertise and tourists preference and value systems, while the locals roles remain insignicant.

6. Practical implications From a theoretical perspective, this paper emphasizes policyindustrylocality interrelationships to reveal multiple dimensions of tourism employment characteristics. At the same time, it provides useful perspectives to be considered in planning for tourisms human resources needs. It has been argued that the value of competent human capital deserves greater attention than it is usually accorded. In many developing nations, tourism is a substantial economic sector with potential to generate more jobs and income but it is constantly confronted by host countries inability to generate a sound human capital base. To eliminate the daunting demands of creating or nding trained tourism personnel and to promote greater local control of and participation in the use of indigenous tourism resources, the devising and implementation of adequate education and training mechanisms are pressing needs. Tourism education and training are imperative for securing positive effects of tourism in destinations. Traditionally, enhancement of service standards has been the main parameter governing the deployment of tourism education and training infrastructure. However, most countries also devise their strategies for developing tourism human resources according to their own political, social and economic requirements. In spite of such variations, a common characteristic is an orientation towards technical competence associated with achieving service quality and international standards (which is also an internationally accepted goal of tourism education and training) (World Tourism Organization, 1999).

Although some bemoan the homogenizing forces of tourism, tourism is actually an industry that is rooted in local characteristics and the particular attributes of places. This makes relocation difcult. Unlike mobile industries with considerable ability to move their operations in search of cheap labor and material costs, tourism can best be sustained by maintaining the viability of indigenous resources, whether tangible or intangible. This requires that public authorities provide adequate facilities and resources for a work population that is capable of managing the local tourism endowments, participating in the tourism sector and receiving appropriate remuneration. The national tourism plans usually articulate the uniqueness of their countries but there is a need to go beyond the objectives of attaining service excellence and a supercially dened professionalism. Most endeavors are directed to redressing the problem of shortages of trained tourism personnel. However, low levels of individualism and entrepreneurship, and unfamiliarly with the nature of tourism employment on the part of local people plague the organization and operation of the tourism industry in developing countries. They are also an obvious oversight in most tourism plans. The result is that the needs of local residents interested in entering tourism are not met. Fig. 3 conceptualizes a vision that embraces a wide variety of skills and capacities required in the development of tourism human resources. This framework is different from other previous approaches that have been driven predominantly by the demands of the industry and the tourists. It incorporates both the supply of and demand for a tourism workforce at all skill levels. Most importantly, with the fragmented nature of the tourism industry in mind, it addresses the need to cultivate a variety of operational personnel for all aspects of tourism. The rst element addresses the role of the public sector in cultivating the tourism workforce. Reecting the top-down decision-making realities in most developing countries, it is assumed that substantial responsibility will be with the national level tourism administrative agency. The tourism agency acts as a facilitator to bring in other agencies and institutes and to link all stakeholders involved in tourism. A committee or council could then be formed with responsibility for tourism human resources planning and development, and tourism education and training activities. The second element describes the tasks of the committee. These include evaluation and projection of labor demands, including skill requirements, as well as formulation of the training components to address the needs of the workforce, industry and host community. The third element is a three-faceted, integrated approach to tourism workforce development comprised of learning, operational and advancement components. It is concerned not only with the quantity (vertical) and

168 A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170

variety (horizontal) of the required tourism workforce but also incorporates career advancement opportunities for tourism workers (spherical facet). The vertical (learning) and horizontal (operational) facets concentrate upon the removal of job entry impediments and the mastery of the practical skills of tourism jobs respectively (vocational training and learning by doing). The spherical facet is concerned with opportunities to encourage a cross-over of skills and knowledge advancement. The approach addresses the sufciency of tourism human capital, the variety of operational personnel needed, as well as the establishment of an empowered and competent human resources base. In these ways, it also contributes to the incubation of a dynamic and exible environment to facilitate the upward movement of human capital. The fourth element, responding to the highly differentiated operational requirements of different sizes of tourism establishment, is conceptualized as a spectrum representing a mix of workers with the required skill levels. The education and training themes for each level of operational techniques and knowledge, and its specic skill and knowledge requirements are identied as vocational skills, technical competence and innovation. For example, in an emerging destination (or a new tourism settlement) where most local residents are strangers to tourism activities, there is a need to aquatint the hosts with tourism culture and skills through education and training programs to assist in determining the appropriate utilization of resources and the types of employment opportunities that can be established. In contrast, in a more developed arena or a complex operating environment, the presence of competent, sophisticated and innovative personnel is expected not only to provide swifter responses to the demands of tourists but also help to sustain competitiveness. Finally, the outcome is a mix of many types of tourism personnel to satisfy the workforce demands of the diversity of enterprises involved in tourism. This systematic approach for enhancing human capital for tourism combines facilities and education and training programs to generate the knowledge and skill requirements demanded by different sizes of tourism operations as well as ancillary service providers. This can be accomplished because of exibilities exhibited in the three-faceted but integrated approach to tourism workforce development. It is a bottom-up and workerfocused approach and allows for career mobility. Another advantage of the proposed framework is that it accommodates the need to develop specic programs for particular components of the tourism sector, for example, administrators, intermediaries such as travel agents and transportation workers. Of course, there are signicant obstacles confronting developing countries in implementing such a strategy, given the special circumstances of customary top-down,

decision-making systems and typical resource constraints. The public sectors inadequate cognition of human resources, the private sectors reluctance to invest in training, the general publics limited awareness of learning and employment opportunities, and the availability of nancial resources are among the common challenges that hamper the development of tourisms human capital. There are no easy solutions to eliminate these impediments. However, when considering the political reality that centrally dominant systems still prevail in most of the developing world, it is legitimate to expect central governments to assume a major responsibility and to adopt a leading roletaking enlightened initiatives, mobilizing resources and stimulating the active involvement of key stakeholders, in order to produce adequate tourism human resources, promote meaningful local participation and facilitate greater local representation in tourism employment. The operationalization of the human resources development framework for tourism (Fig. 3) will depend upon the acceptance and commitments of key stakeholders.

7. Summary Tourism has emerged in many destinations as a catalyst for socio-economic change. Although, initially, local goals to be reached through tourism might not have been clearly established, its continuation as a positive force in the lives of local residents is contingent upon local response, involvement and support. Human resources issues in travel and tourism have been principally concerned with the quality of tourism personnel at the micro-level and tourism employment effects at the macro-level. Little effort has been made to situate tourism human resources within the context of policy trends and the evolution of planning paradigms. In order to address these deciencies, the commitment to tourism human resources as revealed in tourism development plans has been evaluated and an array of issues pertaining to tourisms human resources in developing countries has been identied. The primary objective of the paper has been to raise awareness and to promote investment in cultivating tourism human capital. Future tourism plans should give greater prominence to the development of human resources for tourism so that local residents will be in a better position to participate in and benet from the development of tourism in their area. Academically, studies concerning tourism employment or human resources development should go beyond a narrow hospitality orientation to embrace a broader notion of tourism. In practice, it has been common to overlook human resources when planning tourism or to address the topic supercially. It is also evident that, while tourism has often been addressed in

A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 169

national development plans, efforts to promote human resources development for tourism have generally been narrowly focused upon cultivating personnel for hospitality establishments needs with a restricted aim of satisfying tourists through provision of quality services. Accumulation of human capital in tourism has been constrained by attempts to meet international services standards and professionalism without sensitivity and adequate adaptation to local societal and cultural contexts. Conceptual considerations concerning human resources development for tourism have been addressed in a policyindustrylocality framework that incorporates: (1) broad tourism policy issues and tourism planning priorities; (2) the associated common tourism employment concerns pertaining to a developing economy and the nature of the participation of local people; and (3) the nature and availability of tourism education and training opportunities. Initial attention has been given to the extent to which tourism policies and plans have identied human resource issues. It has been suggested that tourism policies and plans for developing countries have seldom given adequate attention to issues of human resources. The continual pleas for greater involvement of local people in directing, participating in and beneting from the tourism that is taking place or proposed for the destinations in which they live are testimony to deciencies in tourism planning, including its human resources development components. Local people should comprise a principal source of labor and should receive reasonable compensation for their work but this can only occur if they are prepared appropriately to take advantage of the opportunities that tourism can afford. If this is to occur, then tourism planning must go beyond the propagation of a simple growth philosophy and associated facilities and marketing orientations to address human resources needs and opportunities. If tourism is really to be a passport to development and a means to enhance the lives of destination residents, then greater attention must be given in tourism plans to their needs and capabilities. It will require that more sophisticated attention be given to human resources development. If this is not done, studies of the consequences of tourism in developing destinations will continue to nd that local peoples lives are changed by tourism but most of the benets accrue to outsiders or elsewhere.

Ankomah, P. K. (1991). Tourism skilled labor: the case of sub-Saharan Africa. Annals of Tourism Research, 18(3), 433442. Barron, P., & Prideaux, B. (1998). Hospitality education in Tanzania: is there a need to develop environmental awareness? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 6(3), 224237.

Baum, T. (1994). National tourism policies: implementing the human resource dimension. Tourism Management, 15(4), 259266. Briedenhann, J., & Wickens, E. (2004). Tourism routes as a tool for the economic development of rural areasvibrant hope or impossible dream? Tourism Management, 25(1), 7179. Brotherton, B., Woolfenden, G., & Himmetog lu, B. (1994). Developing human resources for Turkeys tourism industry in the 1990s. Tourism Management, 15(2), 109116. Casado, M. A. (1997). Mexicos 198994 Tourism Plan: implications of internal political and economic instability. Journal of Travel Research, 34(1), 4451. Choy, D. J. L., & Gee, C. Y. (1983). Tourism in the PRC: ve years after China opens its gates. Tourism Management, 4(1), 85101. Cohen, E. (1982). Marginal paradises: bungalow tourism on the islands of southern Thailand. Annals of Tourism Research, 9(2), 189228. Cohen, E. (1996). Hunter-gatherer tourism in Thailand. In R. Butler, & T. Hinch (Eds.), Tourism and indigenous peoples (pp. 227254). High Holborn: International Thomson Business Press. Cukier, J., & Wall, G. (1994). Informal tourism employment: vendors in Bali, Indonesia. Tourism Management, 14(3), 464476. Din, K. (1997). Tourism development: still in search of a more equitable mode of local involvement. In C. Cooper, & S. Wanhill (Eds.), Tourism development: environmental and community issues (pp. 153162). West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons. Din, K. H. (1982). Tourism in Malaysia: competing needs in a plural society. Annals of Tourism Research, 9(3), 453480. Din, K. H. (1986). Differential ethnic involvement in the Penang tourist industry: some policy implications. Akademika, 29, 320. Echtner, C. M. (1995). Entrepreneurial training in developing countries. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(1), 119134. Elkin, R. D., & Roberts, R. S. (1994). Evaluating the human resource (employment) requirements and impacts of tourism developments. In J. R. B. Ritchie, & C. R. Goeldner (Eds.), Travel, tourism and hospitality research: a handbook for managers and researchers, (2nd ed) (pp. 403412). New York: Wiley. Esichaikul, R., & Baum, T. (1998). The case for government involvement in human resource development: a study of the Thai hotel industry. Tourism Management, 19(4), 359370. Godfrey, K. B. (1998). Attitudes towards sustainable tourism in the UK: a view from local government. Tourism Management, 19(3), 213224. Gunn, C. A. (1988). Tourism planning. New York: Taylor and Francis. Hall, C. M. (1996). Tourism and the Maori of Aotearoa, New Zealand. In R. Butler, & T. Hinch (Eds.), Tourism and indigenous peoples (pp. 155175). High Holborn: International Thomson Business Press. Hitchcock, M. (1993). Dragon tourism in Komodo, Eastern Indonesia. In M. Hitchcock, V. T. King, & M. J. G. Parnwell (Eds.), Tourism in south-east Asia (pp. 303316). London: Routledge. Inskeep, E. (1991). Tourism planning: an integrated and sustainable development approach. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. International Labour Organization (2004a). International classication of status in employment. Available on: public/english/bureau/stat/class/icse.htm. Date of retrieval: March 20th, 2004. International Labour Organization (2004b). Guidelines concerning a statistical denition of informal employment. Available on: http:// pdf. Date of retrieval: March 20th, 2004. Jenkins, C. L. (1980). Tourism policies in developing countries: a critique. Tourism Management, 1(1), 2229. Jenkins, C. L. (1999). Tourism academics and tourism practitioners: bridging the great divide. In D. G. Pearce, & R. W. Butler (Eds.), Contemporary issues in tourism development (pp. 5264). London: Routledge.

170 A. Liu, G. Wall / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 159170 Parnwell (Eds.), Tourism in south-east Asia (pp. 200213). London: Routledge. Smith, V. L. (1994). Privatization in the Third World: small-scale tourism enterprises. In W. Theobald (Ed.), Global tourism: the next decade (pp. 163173). Oxford: Butterworth. Szivas, E., & Riley, M. (1999). Tourism employment during economic transition. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(4), 747771. Szivas, E., Riley, M., & Airey, D. (2003). Labor mobility into tourism: attraction and satisfaction. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(1), 6476. Telfer, D. J. (2002). The evolution of tourism and development theory. In R. Sharpley, & D. J. Telfer (Eds.), Tourism and development: concepts and issues (pp. 3578). Clevedon: Channel View. The Economist, June 19th. (2004). In the shadows: the informal economy is neither small nor benign. London: The Economist. Theuns, H. L., & Rasheed, A. (1983). Alternative approaches to tertiary tourism education with special reference to developing countries. Tourism Management, 4(1), 4251. Timothy, D., & Wall, G. (1997). Selling to tourists: Indonesian street vendors. Annals of Tourism Research, 24(2), 322340. Wanhill, S. (1994). Role of government incentives. In W. Theobald (Ed.), Global tourism: the next decade (pp. 291329). Oxford: Butterworth. Wei, Q. (1999). Tourism in China and professionalism: an insiders perspective. Asia Pacic Journal of Tourism Research, 4(1), 2229. World Bank (2004). 2004 World Development Indicators. Available on Date of retrieval: March 12, 2004. World Tourism Organization. (1994). National and regional tourism planning: methodologies and case studies. London: Routledge. World Tourism Organization (1999). Tourism challenges in the 21st century: human resource development in Asia and the Pacic. A report on the ESCAP/WTO high-level technical seminar on challenges for human resource development in tourism in the AsiaPacic Region in the new millennium, Macau, 1213 May, 1999. Madrid: World Tourism Organization. Zhang, G. (1985). China ready for new prospect for tourism development. Tourism Management, 6(2), 141143. Kusluvan, S., & Kusluvan, Z. (2000). Perceptions and attitudes of undergraduate tourism students towards working in the tourism industry in Turkey. Tourism Management, 21(3), 251269. Lea, J. P. (1996). Tourism, realpolitik and development in the South Pacic. In A. Pizam, & Y. Mansfeld (Eds.), Tourism, crime and international security issues (pp. 123142). West Sussex: Wiley. Lipscomb, A. F. H. (1998). Village-based tourism in the Solomon Islands: impediments and impacts. In E. Laws, B. Faulkner, & G. Moscardo (Eds.), Embracing and managing changes in tourism: international case studies (pp. 185201). London: Routledge. Liu, A., & Wall, G. (2003). Human resources development for Tourism in a peripheral island: Hainan, China. In S. Go ssling (Ed.), Tourism development in tropical islands: political ecology perspectives (pp. 222236). Sweden: Edward Elgar Publishing. Milne, S. (1990). Tourism and economic development in Vanuatu. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 11(1), 1326. Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia (1999). Draft tourism policy paper. Available on Date of retrieval: 16 January, 2004. Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Environment and Communications, Swaziland (2000). National tourism policy. Available on Date of retrieval: 16 January, 2004. Mitchell, L. S. (1994). Research on the geography of tourism. In J. R. B. Ritchie, & C. R. Goeldner (Eds.), Travel, tourism and hospitality research: a handbook for managers and researchers, (2nd ed.) (pp. 197207). New York: Wiley. Oudiette, V. (1990). International tourism in China. Annals of Tourism Research, 17(1), 123132. Pearce, D. (1989). Tourism development. Harlow: Longman. Pearce, D. (1990). Tourism in Ireland: questions of scale and organization. Tourism Management, 11(2), 133151. Richter, L. K. (1983). Political implications of Chinese tourism policy. Annals of Tourism Research, 10(3), 395413. Riley, M., Ladkin, A., & Szivas, E. (2002). Tourism employment: analysis and planning. Clevedon: Channel View. Sinclair, A. T., & Vokes, R. W. A. (1993). The economics of tourism in Asia and the Pacic. In M. Hitchcock, V. T. King, & M. J. G.