Managing Indigenous Minority Groups in the Tourism Industry: An Exploratory Case Study in Southern Laos
Faculty of Industrial Management and Tourism Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa, Japan
Tourism-based employment has been promoted for reducing poverty in the least developed countries (LDCs). However, for employing the poor sustainably, particularly, indigenous minority groups, management has to cope with the socioeconomic disadvantages in these environments. This study aims to explore the challenges and practical strategies for human resource management (HRM) of indigenous minority groups in the tourism sectors of LDCs; specifically, those identified as “best practice” in southern Laos. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the managing director of the project regarding training, compatibility with family life, benefits and incentives, and leadership and teamwork. A qualitative analysis was applied to the interview data and hypothetical HRM strategies were derived. Then, to examine the validity of these strategies within the project, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a half of the employees. The results suggest significance for the following HRM strategies: a social orientation toward tourism industry hygiene standards; a flexible leave system that allows employees to participate in family events and family-operated farming; and nonfinancial benefits such as food, clothing, and housing.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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