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Asian tourism salaries rise, but staff satisfaction wanes

Salaries among tourism employees in the Asia Pacific region are rising, but workers are becoming increasingly frustrated over the lack of career progression, a new study has found.

According to the results of the 2012-13 Travel and Hospitality Industry Salary Survey, compiled by recruitment firm ACI HR Solutions, the majority (69%) of staff in the tourism sector received a pay rise in the last 12 months, with the average annual industry salary in the region rising to US$65,331.

But the survey results also indicated that despite rising remuneration, not all tourism staff feel their companies offer good long-term career prospects. More than a third (35%) of respondents felt that the career prospects with their present employer were ‘poor’ or ‘zero’ – the highest level in five years of the survey, and a sharp increase from the 16% who said the same in 2008, and 22% in 2011.

Meanwhile, 66% of respondents stated that career progression was either ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ to their lives.

“The continued labour crunch and skills shortage across much of the region mean that those with specialist skills continue to drive higher salary demands and compensation packages,” ACI’s founder & CEO, Andrew Chan said at the survey’s launch in Singapore.

“We saw an eventful 2012 which has left its influence on the job market and salaries across Asia Pacific coming into 2013. Whilst Asia’s economy progressed positively, the divided and modest results could be based on respondents who work for multinational companies with headquarters in the more cautious economies of Europe and the US, and was thus not in the position to offer salary increases or only modest amounts” he added.

The survey also highlighted to rise of salaries across the region. In Indonesia, average tourism salaries grew by 118% according to the 2012-13 survey, while strong growth was also seen in India (+113%) and the Philippines (+51%). Hong Kong (U$81,564) and Australia (U$79,371) continued to post some of the highest average salaries, while Malaysia (U$39,118) had the lowest.

“2012 saw continued economic volatility around the globe, particularly in the eurozone. Yet international tourism managed to stay on course. The sector has shown its capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions and, although at a slightly more modest rate, is expected to continue expanding in 2013. Business confidence may appear weaker but still remains mostly positive and companies HR policies are continuing to focus on recruitment rather than retrenchment”, Chan concluded.


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