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Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas

Posted by: | September 6, 2018 Comments Off on Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas |

September 6, 2018

By Rick Cooper

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O' Call restaurant on the Oregon coast.

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O’ Call restaurant on the Oregon coast. (Photo by Susan Dimock)

Managers of tourism businesses on the Oregon coast need their workers to be trained in customer service, housekeeping, staff management/human resources, marketing and other areas, according to a survey.

The results of the survey, which were published by Oregon Sea Grant in a 44-page report, also revealed that

  • for those who identified marketing as a program interest, the desired topics were social media and online reputation management, with Facebook as the most desired training topic
  • the probability of workers participating in training workshops was highest for trainings that are on site and in person
  • the majority of organizations face difficulty hiring quality staff and want staff training and workforce-development programs
  • some respondents are unprepared to pay for training; however, those who are prepared indicated that a median cost of about $50 for a four-hour training would be acceptable

Oregon Sea Grant Extension’s Sustainable Tourism Program invited management-level representatives of the coastal visitor industry to complete the online survey between Feb. 7 and March 19, 2018. The approximately 180 respondents included owners, managers and presidents of coastal businesses. The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) funded the survey.

Miles Phillips, a coastal tourism specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University’s Extension Service, wrote the report that summarized the findings of the survey. Oregon Sea Grant edited and published the report, which is titled Coastal Oregon Visitor Industry (Tourism) Workforce Needs Assessment 2018.

“This survey revealed highly variable opinions and experiences with employee recruitment and training,” Phillips wrote in an email. “The majority expressed difficulty in finding quality employees; however, a small number described how they have succeeded in finding and retaining employees. This type of survey work is very important to help target training programs in response to the desires of the industry.”

The report aims to help the OCVA, Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, the tourism industry, workforce development agencies, and funding organizations develop and implement training programs.

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