"" Welcome to my thoughts: Let’s Wake up, before they control

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let’s Wake up, before they control

Maldives is one of the fastest growing economies in south Asia. Though there are many features which contributes to pumping money into our economy main contributor is tourism.
According to the world economy watch; after deadly Tsunami, Maldives economy has managed to find stable ground by achieving US $ 1.588 billion and real growth rate of 6.6%, GDP per capita US$ 4,600 till 2007. In which Tourism accounts for 20% GDP and over 60% of foreign exchange, and 90% of the government revenue is generated due to import duties and tourism related tax.
Employment ministry data shows that more than 72,000 foreign workers are resident in Maldives, amounting to 19 per cent of the total population - or equivalent to 25 per cent of the number of Maldivians. And second highest numbers of foreigner are working in Tourism related field.
Employees Shortage
Since nearer to the fall of last regime, tourism sector was stretched to the whole country, under the banner of “Tourism expansions Plan,” Though there was a political conspiracy behind these decisions, However we should keep in mind that before it was open for bidding government must do sound human resources development plan in order to cater upcoming resorts. In fact, we never see such a plan, instead government just simply keep on warding resorts to different companies. As a result tourism sector is in need of human resources, and lack of talents. Most remarkably the resorts nearby Male’ had a big impact.
As we aware that nearly all of the managerial positions in many resorts are filled by the foreigners. We rarely see Maldivian General Managers and Resident Managers. We need to think deeply about this matter.
Educational opportunity
Currently the only place where formal hospitality related education provider is the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism studies, which is also up to higher national diploma level. According to the FHS records every year, at least 1000 graduates move to industry. However these graduate never last for more than two years. We need to escalate the problems associated with and start nationwide campaign and provide information to strengthen our workforce.
May companies initiate to develop human resources by providing long and short courses; and other opportunities to widen employees’ horizon. But sadly, once they return to the organization, we see they are being kept oppressed and alienated.
I wonder why such companies are spending huge amount of money for employee development. Some research suggests that often this type of oppression is happening in companies where higher level mangers see them as a threat.
Unlike city hotel concept, our tourism is much more distinct in nature. The islands are isolated by sea, in other word our hotel industry is based on “Isolated Island Resort Concept.”
Maldivian business Owners, tend believe that “White skins” can do better than the locals; so that they used to hire foreign Managers. The implied meaning of these actions suggests that local owners never trust local managers. And never want local managers to be in power.
“I am living in a five star prison, guards are nice, food and accommodation is not bad. I hardly get chance to visit my family, due to high occupancy, and lack of staff in our section” said one of the resort workers.
Unlike foreign managers, local managers are paid much more lower than the foreign manager, even though the locals counterpart is in equal in terms of rank, environment and job scope. We often see that the foreign managers are allowed to bring their wife or partner into a resort to stay with them, however local managers has no authority to bring their loved ones for even just a single day.
The research done by the Lim and John (2007) shows that as many as 42% of the revenue distributed as a salary go to foreign countries, and the pay gap between the local manager and foreign managers were very high.
Why our country is so backward to promote hotel industry to our young stars and school leavers?
When I was in office, I got a chance to visit some of the densely populated atolls to promote hospitality industry. I recognized that most of the youngsters are willing to work in hotel sector, unfortunately they were forced to stay beck in the island due to their family pressure.
We got to do something to promote the hospitality industry to our youngsters and their parents. If not, soon or later whole industry will controlled by foreign workers.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you Ali Adam who worked in laguna Maldives?