President Paiboon Upattising on February 16 opened a training program to prepare hospitality professionals for ASEAN, at Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town.
PPAO officials present: President Advisor Boonserm Suwannarathphoom, Chief Administrator Watcharin Pathom Wattanapong, Council Deputy Chairman Prasan Prateen Na Thalang, Council Member Somkid Supap and other officials. Attended by 200 participants from local hotel operators, the course is taught by Weerachai Srikajorn, director of Thailand Professional Qualification Institute, Prateep Gulu, deputy of Phuket Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Darawan Jinda. According to Mr Watcharin, one of PPAO core policy is to develop a lifelong learning program for the community so as to raise their standard of living and career potential. Organized under the larger umbrella program entitled “Learning Activities to prepare for ASEAN,” the course aims to raise the standard and income potential of professionals working in hospitality fields so that they can enter the ASEAN job market with confidence. Some components of the course also educate participants in employees’ rights and welfare benefits. President Paiboon remarked that with an increasing competition, both nationally and internationally, in the field of hospitality and tourism, operators need to prepare themselves well to be ahead of the game. He cited the number of tourism to Phuket, which has increased to 13M per year as opposed to 12M in the previous years. Fifty per cent of tourists, said the President, now prefer to book hotel rooms online. Hotels must prepare themselves to reflect the change in tourism trend. The course, intended for staff from hotels which pays rates to PPAO, would benefit the hotels in the long run and contribute to sustainable tourism, said the President. Mr Paiboon also urged the hotel operators to send staff for treatment at PPAO Hospital, which welcomes patients who subscribed to the national social security insurance. PPAO Hospital, he said, is a quality institution treating at present over 1,000 patients per day. This year, the hospital will add 27 beds to its existing facilities. PPAO is the first national administrative office, which has collected up to 100 M baht in revenue derived from hotel taxes. The organization intends to use the fund to benefit local tourism by organizing training programs in marketing, tourism promotion and raising potential of hospitality staff. “This is a special course intended for those hotels which pay taxes to PPAO. Operators should be proud to have contributed to the society and I believe participants will reap the full benefits from the course,” said the President.