MUSLIM AND BUDDHIST VENUE STAFF KNOWLEDGE OF ISLAM AND THEIR VIEWS ON RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN THE MICE INDUSTRY IN SOUTHERN THAILAND

Songsin Teerakunpisut Abstract - 69 PDF - 41

Abstract


This paper is based on a research project that examined the influence of Islam on hospitality and customer service standards in the MICE industry in Southern Thailand. The paper will reflect on the findings of face-to-face interviews with 18 Buddhist and 44 Muslim staff of three MICE venues in the area. The findings reveal that even though it was not clear why there were slightly different views repressed by Buddhist and Muslim staff participants, Islam is generally regarded as a significant belief and practices to Muslim lives. This paper contends that across the three MICE venues Muslim and Buddhist staff work harmoniously together and that each holds the other in high esteem, with Buddhists viewing the role played by their Muslim colleagues as being of vital importance to the MICE sector. There was a seeming discord between the way Thai Muslims practice Islam and what participants expect in the way of the provision of Islamic-based services and facilities in the MICE sector that will be further explored in this paper.

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