Minister of Tourism and Sports Little Hosts Program

The Minister of Tourism and Sports has come up with another ridiculous idea that is doomed to fail, violates Thai Child Labor laws, and will attract the seediest of foreign tourists.

Copying the “Junior guides love Nakhon Pathom” program, the Minister of Tourism and Sports is about to launch the “Little Hosts” program.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Little Hosts

Minister of Tourism and Sports Little Hosts

The problem with the program in Nakhon Pathom is the Junior Guides are only 11 years old (Prathom 5) – four years too young to work – but the program from the Minister of Tourism and Sports doesn’t indicate the age of the Little Hosts but it does mention the latest Education Reform technique stolen from Singapore that is also doomed to fail, “Teach Less, Learn More“, which is geared towards elementary students.

The Junior Guides program selected 54 students and trained them 10 at a time for a few hours on a Friday – a complete waste of time. A program like requires someone or a few teachers with knowledge of the area, khowledge of Thai Tourism, and the ability to speak a foreign language well – like English or Chinese. I am sure that Nakhon Pathom meant well, but failed drastically.

Having said all that, let’s take a look at the this ridiculous Little Hosts program from the Minister of Tourism and Sports. Pedophiles around the world are drooling at the idea.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to set up a training programme for students in more than 3,000 schools nationwide under the Education Ministry’s “Teach Less, Learn More” pilot scheme, to help them become accredited local tour guides.

I wonder where the Minister of Tourism and Sports is going to find the 3,000+ personnel to teach this program.

More licensed tour guides are needed to cater to a rising number of tourists, says Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

However, giving little kids a Little Host certificate doesn’t qualify them to be real tour guides.

Ms Kobkarn held talks Monday on the scheme with Education Minister Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan at the Education Ministry.

I wonder which general outranks the other – the Minister of Tourism and Sports is married to a Police General.

They discussed how the ministries can promote learning outside the classroom as part of the project.

Assuming the Little Hosts are going to be 11 years old like the Junior Guides, how many will want to stay after school for a program that pays nothing and is against the law?

Ms Kobkarn said Thailand once had about 57,000 accredited tour guides nationwide, but that number has fallen to about 30,000.

I wonder why. I guess no one needs tour guides anymore.

Official ministry tour guides number about 20,000, while 10,000 work as freelancers.

Therein lies the problem. Like most Thai Government officials, the Minister of Tourism and Sports is recommending a solution that does not solve the problem. The solution is bring in English and Chinese speaking Filipinos and Singaporeans under the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

“Thailand forecasts 28.8-29 million foreign tourists will visit the country this year, while we only have 20,000 tour guides. We have to do better,” Ms Kobkarn said.

Considering that the majority of tourists in Thailand do not require a tour guide, 20,000 is way too many. Again, the Minister of Tourism and Sports fails to see the shift in Thai Tourism to the Free Independent Traveler (FIT).

She said a programme to train students as guides will be included as one of the extra-curricular activities offered in schools when regular classes end at 2pm.

Won’t work without qualified tourism instructors, English/Chinese teachers, and someone to explain the local culture.

Students wishing to join this programme can take courses giving them a valuable grounding in the tourism industry that could also lead to productive careers.

No, because tourism continues to slide in Thailand, tour and travel agencies are dinosaurs, and most tourists come here on their own.

Students who finish the course will receive “Little Host” certificates and can work as local tour guides, she said. No details were available on whether they would get paid for their efforts, though advocates say the idea is likely to prove popular with tourists, who would also get the chance to meet locals.

Likely to prove popular with pedophiles.

Gen Dapong said the project would provide school children with better knowledge about their hometowns, tourist attractions and local traditions. It will also help boost their communication skills and foreign language proficiency.

No, it won’t. Since there will be no one qualified to teach the course and cover tourism, local culture and a foreign language. This would have to be something like a four-year program at the University level.

He expects the programme to create a positive image for the local tourism industry and foster favourable impressions of the country among tourists.

They must think it will be cute to have little girls tittering and giggling while pretending to be tour guides. They won’t know the area, they won’t know the foreign language, and they won’t know the history or cultural aspects of their location.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry wants the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to develop a training course for physical education teachers, Gen Dapong added. “We have around 20,000 PE teachers in state schools across the country, but most do not have any sports-related degrees. We want the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to coach our PE teachers,” he said.

This sounds about right. Physical Education teachers with no sports-related degree – just like the English teachers that can’t speak English. Sorry, there General, there is nothing the Minister of Tourism and Sports can do to help. She is too busy welcoming the millionth tourist every 9 days.

This program will never start let alone come to fruition since it is just a grand idea from the Minister of Tourism and Sports with absolutely no idea on how to implement it.

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Categories:   TAT, Thailand


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