KEY MEETING. Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (left, front) and Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, along with officials from the two nations, meet in Bangkok on Thursday (Aug. 18, 2022). Among other topics, Thailand said it is looking at Filipinos to address workers’ shortage in its hospitality sector. (Photo courtesy of DOT Philippines)

MANILA – The Thailand government is looking at Filipino workers to address its shortage of workforce in the accommodation industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Friday.

The DOT said Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) made a direct request to DOT Secretary Christina Frasco to help Bangkok address its "60-percent shortage in the accommodation sector workforce".

In response, Frasco invited Thailand to participate in the Tourism Job Fairs organized by the DOT and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in September.

"The Thailand Minister gladly accepted and confirmed their participation. This would bring in a wealth of employment opportunities for Filipinos wanting to work in Thailand," Frasco said in a statement.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on Thursday.

The two ministers discussed ways to strengthen bilateral tourism initiatives between Thailand and the Philippines; and agreed to renew the Implementing Program of Cooperation in the areas of travel facilitation, research and development, education and training, tourism initiatives, human development, employment, and exchange of best practices, among others.

READ: DOLE, DOT eye job fairs for hospitality sector in September

In addition, Frasco explored the possibility of collaborating with Thailand on Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions; education tourism, particularly English as Second Language; and food and gastronomy tourism.

“I accept with gratitude the minister’s sentiments, saying that he would like more people from Thailand to visit the Philippines, to equalize the number of people from the Philippines who visit Thailand," Frasco said.

"With your government’s help and our partnership, we look forward to increasing that number and we would welcome you with open arms in the Philippines," she added.

As of August 14, over 1.2 million foreign tourists have visited the Philippines, 6,401 of which are Thai nationals.

Apart from Thai government officials, Frasco also met with stakeholders, including those from the Thai Travel Agents Association, and discussed developing a link between Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines. (PNA)