On the Edge of Thai Society toward Tourism Employment

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Kanokkarn Kaewnuch

Abstract

          A comprehensive study was carried out in the tribal area in Chiang Mai, Thailand with a group of hill tribe people, Karen and Hmong. The study aims to explore perceptions of these groups of people towards impacts from tourism employment. This paper seeks to extend our understanding of these two culturally distinct groups by considering them as employees in tourism sectors located in Chiang Mai. The analysis discusses the perceptions of Karen and Hmong employees, working for tourism business managed by Thai nationals. The analysis focuses upon the respondents perceptions regarding their perceived impacts from employing tourism job with the Thai. Due to the limited numbers of hill tribe people, two hundred questionnaires administered. The research demonstrated that the cultural backgrounds and ethnicities of these two tribes do effect their perceptions resulting in differences in their views of impacts from working in the tourism industry. That said, it can be briefly elaborated that despite a few similarities in the perceptions of the Karen and Hmong of positive impacts upon themselves resulting from their working with the external tourism actions (ETAs), the major concerns were focused on the significant differences in their perceptions towards negative impacts as Hmong tend to perceive more of the negative impacts when compared to the Karen group in terms of losing their value and belief in their traditions and sacred sites as they had to deal with them as tourist attractions. Moreover, Hong also strongly projected that they have failed to maintain their relationship with their family due to their working pattern with the ETAs.

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