Situation Analysis and Level of Readiness of Thai Undergraduate institutions in Tourism and Hospitality to apply for international Accreditations, focusing on the UNWTO TedQual Certification

Authors

รศ.ดร.กนกกานต์ แก้วนุช, Mr.Jorge Arnanz

Published

Sripatum Review of Humanities and Social Sciences

Abstract

The field of tourism and hospitality has existed in Thai higher education for over 50 years. Despite the numerous milestones and advancements enhancing the level of these programs, it has been frequently pointed out that their outcomes have been unsatisfactory when covering the necessary standards. Related to standards in higher education, the last decades have also seen an increased focus on quality assurance and accreditation as means to strengthen and guarantee the quality levels of academic institutions. In terms of tourism and hospitality education, the most important example would be the TedQual certification, offered by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). The aim of this paper is to outline the current situation and to evaluate the level of readiness of Thai undergraduate institutions to apply for international accreditations in tourism and hospitality (UNWTO TedQual, specifically). For this purpose, the researcher used a mixed research methodology, conducting a survey questionnaire among 320 lecturers and executives of Thai undergraduate institutions in tourism and hospitality and 7 in-depth interviews with executives from those universities. Regarding the findings on the situation analysis, there are several factors that have been mentioned by a majority of the participants in this research as their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and, therefore, they can be considered as representative of the Thai undergraduate education in tourism and hospitality. In terms of the findings about the level of readiness, the perceptions of the institutions on their potential to obtain international accreditations are higher than average (2.81 out of 5). However, the respondents and key informants in this research also outlined several factors to be improved to increase the possibilities of success of the institutions.

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