Tourism is the fastest growing industry in many communities
and its effects on these communities can be profound. The acceptable
level of these effects - limited by the number of visitors to be
accommodated and the degree of welcome to be extended - is deter¬
mined by the community's attitudes toward its resources as defined
by its aims and objectives. Determination of such policy requires
a clear understanding of the industry's true nature.
The demands of the tourist and his direct effects on the
community are the subject of notable interest and activity. The
other side of the coin, i.e., the effect on the community of
tourism-generated employment, is still the subject of more conjecture than research although, as has been recognized, it may create
a threshold beyond which tourism's costs may outweigh its benefits.
It is to a basic element of this structure - hotel employment -
that this study is directed for an improved understanding of its
precise composition, distribution, departmental structure, community
relationships, and also of certain variables influencing these
factors with predictable effect.
To insure an understanding of this material and an appreciation of its applicability or nonapplicability in other settings,
the presentation of the findings is preceded by a brief description
of Hawaii, the area from which the data are derived, and of
tourism - its costs and benefits, its problems of capacity, and its
tourist personnel - as found and observed under these conditions.
Previously uncollected data, consisting of all available and
apparently significant facts regarding 1,602 employees in seven
selected hotels with 2,378 guest rooms are extracted, recorded.
and tabulated in various ways for different purposes. These are
reduced to comparable ratios, relating to each hotel's capacity,
for examination of departmental and hotel characteristics and
relationships. Correlations are examined to expose cause-and effect
relationships with dependable predictive value for the
This collation and analysis while pursued in depth is not
done as an end in itself; in this it varies from other manpower
and employment studies wherein the interest centres on the employee
as a source of supply and demand. The end product of this exercise
is an understanding of this employee's effects on the community -
as a factor in the assessment of the tourist industry.
It is found that the composite hotel employee is unique.
To anticipate his effects very specific facts are needed - not only
regarding his person, his numbers, and his type of employment, as
other studies have found, but also regarding his household and his
dependents, i.e., the total direct beneficiaries of this employment
who will make demands on the facilities and services of the
On a basis of the observed data and conditions it is posited
that community growth is not a factor of total employment but of
the number of householders who are employed and the number of such
households' dependents. These previously unavailable data,
necessary for a test of this hypothesis, are selected from the
findings and applied to known conditions. The results, when these
applications can be compared with past forecasts, axe quite
different from those produced by the application of previously
assumed data, and the results prove nearer the mark. A promise
is indicated of a substantially improved statistical and theoretical base for projections of hotel employment and estimates
of its effect - both of which are critical factors in assessing
tourism's costs and benefits to the community.