Omani tourism and hospitality students’ employment intentions and job preferences: Ramifications on Omanization plans

Tamer Atef, Masooma Al Balushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to assess receptiveness for Tourism and Hospitality as a career path among students in the Tourism Department of Sultan Qaboos University (College of Arts and Social Sciences), located in the Sultanate of Oman. The following objectives were identified to achieve this aim: assess respondents’ perceptions of tourism and hospitality employment; respondents’ tourism and hospitality employment commitment factors; and respondents’ perceptions of tourism and hospitality jobs. Design/methodology/approach: A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data and measure respondents’ perceptions of the subject under investigation. Survey questions were developed from the literature reviewed which provided the framework for the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprises four different question categories: general information; students’ general perception of tourism and hospitality employment; and tourism and hospitality employment commitment factors; students’ perceptions of tourism and hospitality jobs. Data were tested for normality of distribution; then, means were used for data description and ranking; thereafter, the independent-samples t-test and analysis of variance were conducted to test for significance between groups of respondents; the level of significance used was p ≤ 0.05. Findings: The paper revealed that nearly 41 per cent of the students will continue working in tourism and hospitality for some time. For them, working in the industry is a step on the way, but is not a career path. Only 21.6 per cent are willing to consider tourism and hospitality as their long-term chosen career path. Tourism and hospitality students’ perceptions of the industry tend to be negatively affected as they progress in their study plan. Commitment to employment in Tourism and Hospitality is shaped by four major interrelated factor categories: industry, personality, education and society. The Omani tourism and hospitality industry was not able to project an image that could generate interest among Omanis. Consequently, very few graduates join the Tourism and Hospitality job market, leading to shortages in Omani workers in the industry. The major drawback of such trend is the inability to achieve the Omanization planned figures. Originality/value: The findings are intended to assist tourism and hospitality educators, employers and policymakers better understand students’ future employment intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-461
Number of pages22
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Tourism
student
industry
career
commitment
questionnaire
Oman
normality
analysis of variance
shortage
ranking
employer
personality
social science
graduate
educator
art
worker

Keywords

  • Career path
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Hospitality
  • Oman
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Omani tourism and hospitality students’ employment intentions and job preferences : Ramifications on Omanization plans. / Atef, Tamer; Al Balushi, Masooma.

In: Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, p. 440-461.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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