THE PERCEPTION OF UNETHICAL ISSUES IN SELECTED THAILAND TOURIST AREAS: MEASURING THE ATTITUDES OF FOREIGN TOURISM STUDENTS
Keywords:formal ethical education, tourism, unethical issues, tourism students, Thailand
The principal aim of the paper was to examine what kind of experience international exchange students, as future professionals in tourism industry, gained during their study at the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism in Phuket, Thailand. Thus, the paper deals with how often they encountered the unethical issues in the tourism industry, and how these issues affect their perception of the image of Thailand as a tourist destination. The paper also explores how formal education in Tourism ethics affects the perception of Thailand tourism unethical practices, and as such, it is one of the first studies in this field. In addition, the paper intends to show if there is a relationship between formal education in Ethics in tourism and the respondents’ experience and perception of unethical issues. The results show that these unethical issues have the significant and very strong influence on tourism perception of Thailand with a special emphasis on exploitation of women and children in sex tourism. Also, the study indicates that respondents who have a formal education in Ethics were more aware and had a clearer picture of the negative effect of these unethical issues on the image of Thailand as a destination.
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