SMEs not ready for AEC
BANGKOK, 20 July 2012: Tourism Council of Thailand says Thailand’s tourism small and medium sized enterprises are not ready for a unifiedASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
They will lose opportunities that will be snatched up by neighbouring countries, said TCT representative, Kanlayanee Thammajaree.
She claimed 85% of Thailand’s SMEs operators lacked planning knowledge and investment skills to take advantage of AEC.
Thailand will lose opportunities to neighbouring countries particularly Singapore, where tourism and services sectors are better prepared.
A lack of skilled labour especially in hotel housekeeping and poor languages skills were cited as the downsides.
“The government has to take care of these problems to prepare the country for fierce competition.”
Moreover, Ms Kanlayanee suggested that the country should have a law to protect Thais in employment categories.
“It is ok for a five-star hotel to employ foreign labour, but four-star and lower categories should remain for Thai labour only.”
There are around 2.9 million SMEs operators across the country.