Connect with us


Phuket’s labor shortage critical



PHUKET: Industry analysts describe the labor shortage in the Phuket tourism industry as “critical”, with as many as 4,000 vacant hotel positions as the island enters its annual high season for tourism.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, a vice president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said, “The lack of hotel employees has now reached a crisis point with 3,000 to 4,000 unfilled positions. Most are rank-and-file positions such as hotel receptionists, food and beverage service staff, kitchen crew and room maids. There is no shortage of managerial staff.”

While Phuket already has a huge population of migrant laborers from other parts of Thailand, over 300,000 by most estimates, there are still not enough to meet the increased demand in the high season.

“Workers are aware that Phuket has the highest cost of living of any Thai province, but with monthly salaries not that much higher. Some companies have tried to solve the problem by providing free accommodation and other benefits, but they are still not enough to attract more people to apply for jobs, said Mr Bhuritt, who is also deputy general manager at the Patong Resort Hotel.

Many people in flood-affected provinces including Bangkok have been laid off, but Phuket’s reputation as an expensive place to live continues to deter people from seeking employment here. Fears of a recurrence of the 2004 tsunami disaster also continues to dissuade more migrant workers from relocating here, he said.

“In addition, a large segment of the unemployed nationwide are highly educated people who don’t want to work as service staff. They prefer management positions or opening their own businesses.

“The Government should step in and help solve this problem. Schoolchildren these days are only taught the value of education as it pertains to finding high-paying jobs. There isn’t enough emphasis placed on the value of the work experience,” he added.

The tourism industry labor shortage is a chronic, year-round problem in Phuket, but worsens during the high season when the number of visitors swells, he said.

Kritsada Tansakul, another PTA vice president, estimated the number of vacancies year round at about 1,800, the figure increasing to about 3,000 in the high season.

“This is the busiest time of the year for tourism in Phuket and labor demand has increased with the opening of many new guest houses. Those who work for a while and get enough experience move on to higher-paid positions, open their own businesses or move back to their home towns. This is why so many places are short of workers,” he said.

Mr Kritsada suggested that employers seeking staff in other provinces provide them with free transport to the island as a way of demonstrating commitment and reliability.

Phuket Provincial Employment Office (PPEO) Chief Noppadol Ployudee said his office had tried various strategies of attracting more tourism industry workers to Phuket, but without much success as demand still far outstrips supply.

The PPEO organized job fairs in Nakhon Ratchasima and Si Sa Ket to try and attract workers to Phuket, but they weren’t very successful. Most people are deterred by the high cost of living in Phuket which is higher than elsewhere in the country, he stressed.

— Warisa Temram


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World57 seconds ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics49 mins ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Technology53 mins ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Sponsored7 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Cambodia59 mins ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand1 hour ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime2 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room3 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime3 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel3 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel3 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Phuket3 hours ago

Phuket’s governor Narong braces for storm Noru

Politics4 hours ago

Royal defamation case dropped against Thai activist

Myanmar4 hours ago

OnlyFans star sentenced to six years in prison in Myanmar

Protests5 hours ago

Activists plan protests across Bangkok

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11