English Competency of the Hospitality Workers and Tourist Satisfaction: Policy Recommendations

Nurti Rahayu, Rina Suprina, Amrullah, Krittipat Pitchayadejanant


Despite a large amount of research in tourist satisfaction, little is known about the role of English competency towards tourist satisfaction. To address this gap, the objective of this study is to investigate to what extent the English language ability of hospitality workers is linked to tourist satisfaction in the context of Thai and Indonesian tourists. This quantitative study utilized a questionnaire targeted at the participants with previous trips to Indonesia or Thailand in the last five years. A multilayer framework of tourist satisfaction was adopted to elucidate the variable, while the framework of the hospitality language cycle was employed to measure English competency. The findings reported that both data from Indonesian and Thai participants showed a positive correlation between the English language ability of hospitality workers and tourist satisfaction. The data confirmed that English competency significantly affects tourist satisfaction. This study also revealed English competency of the hospitality workers and tourist satisfaction from the participants’ perspectives. Additionally, the findings add empirical evidence on the crucial role of English as a lingua franca towards its contribution to tourist satisfaction. It serves as an initial database for English curriculum development for tourism higher education and English improvement programs for hospitality workers, in general.


Keywords: English competency, hospitality language, tourist satisfaction, tourists’ perspectives.




Full Text:



TAGLIAMONTE S.A., D’ARCY A., & LOURO C.R. Outliers, impact, and rationalization in linguistic change. Language, 2016, 92(4): 824-849. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0074.

OKAFOR L. E., KHALID U., & BURZYNSKA K. The effect of migration on international tourism flows: the role of linguistic networks and common languages. Journal of Travel Research, 2021. doi: 00472875211008250.

BLUE G. M., & HARUN M. Hospitality language as a professional skill. English for Specific Purposes, 2003, 22(1): 73-91. doi: 10.1016/S0889-4906(01)00031-X.

SUCCI C., & CANOVI M. Soft skills to enhance graduate employability: comparing students and employers’ perceptions. Studies in Higher Education, 2020, 45(9): 1834-1847. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1585420

TOMASSINI L X., FONT & THOMAS R. The case for linguistic narrative analysis, illustrated studying small firms in tourism. Tourism Geographies, 2021, 23(1-2): 344-359. doi: 10.1080/14616688.2019.1619824

BERNSTEIN J.D., & WOOSNAM K.M. Same same but different: Distinguishing what it means to teach English as a foreign language within the context of volunteer tourism. Tourism Management, 2019, 72: 427–436. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2019.01.010.

ERAZO M.A.C., RAMÍREZ S.I.M., ENCALADA M.A.R., HOLGUIN J.V., & ZOU J.H. English language skills required by the hospitality and tourism sector in El Oro, Ecuador. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2019, 9(2): 156-167. doi: 10.17507/tpls.0902.05.

YOUNGBLOOD A.M., NUTTA J.W., DICKSON D.R., & NUTTA M.W. Learning English as a second language in the back-of-the-House: proficiency and employment from the perspective of hotel human resource directors. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 2021, 20(1): 24-47. doi: 10.1080/15332845.2020.1821426.

PURNOMO B. Politeness Strategies and Levels in Tourism-Service Language in Surakarta Residency. Register Journal, 2016, 3(2): 153–189. doi: 10.18326/rgt.v3i2.447.

IRIMIEA S.B. The relationship between the language of tourism, tourism and sociology. European Journal of Social Science Education and Research, 2018, 5(2): 128-141. doi: 10.2478/ejser-2018-0041.

SYAKIER W.A., & HANAFIAH M.H. Tour guide performances, tourist satisfaction and behavioural intentions: a study on tours in Kuala Lumpur city centre. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 2021, 1-18. doi: 10.1080/1528008x.2021.1891599

MUSTELIER-PUIG L.C., ANJUM A., & MING X. Interaction quality and satisfaction: An empirical study of international tourists when buying Shanghai tourist attraction services. Cogent Business & Management, 2018, 5(1). doi: 10.1080/23311975.2018.1470890

KOTLER P., KELLER K.L., MANCEAU D., & DUBOIS B. Marketing Management. 2016, 15 Edn. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

KOZAK M., & RIMMINGTON M. Tourist satisfaction with Mallorca, Spain, as an off-season holiday destination. Journal of Travel Research, 2000, 38(3): 260-269.

RENANDYA W. A., & WIDODO H. P. English Language Teaching Today. Linking Theory and Practice. New York: Springer, 2016.

BURY J., & OKA T. Undergraduate students’ perceptions of the importance of English in the tourism and hospitality industry. Journal of Teaching Travel & Tourism, 2017, 17(3): 173–188. doi: 10.1080/15313220.2017.1331781.

CASTILLO ARREDONDO M. I., RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO M. I., PÉREZ NARANJO L. M., & LÓPEZ-GUZMÁN T. Motivations of educational tourists in non-English-speaking countries: the role of languages. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 2018, 35(4): 437-448.

doi: 10.1080/10548408.2017.1358238

PARK S.H., YOO H., KIM K.B., & LEE T.J. Perceptions of university students of ‘tourism-focused English’ as a second language: The case of Korean universities. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 2018, 23: 59-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jhlste.2018.05.001.

CHOIBAMROONG T. Expectations and satisfaction of Chinese tourists toward Thailand tourism management. Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 2017, 16(3): 30-45.

CHITTHANOM C. Relationships among medical ctivity perceived functional values satisfaction trust and revisit intention in medical tourism: A case study on CLMV tourists in Thailand. ABAC Journal, 2020, 40(3): 54–77 2020

WONGSAWAT Y. A structural equation modeling on factors related to foreign tourists’ destination satisfaction and destination loyalty: The case of Lanna cultural tourism in Thailand. Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 2019, 19(1): 169–177

LWIN H.N.N. The level and determinants of international patient satisfaction with dental tourism in Bangkok Thailand. Cogent Bussiness Management, 2021, 8(1), Article ID 1898316, doi: 10.1080/23311975.2021.1898316.

HENDIJANI R.B. Effect of food experience on tourist satisfaction: the case of Indonesia. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. 2016, 10(3): 272–282, doi: 10.1108/IJCTHR-04-2015-0030.

PRAYOGO R. Sustainability and tourist satisfaction in Bromo Mountain Indonesia. Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management. 2018: 2526

YULIANA. Analysing destination experience satisfaction and loyalty of domestic tourists: A case study of Bali Indonesia. Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities. 2018, 26: 213–224

MUSTIKA P.L. Tourist satisfaction and expenditures in a reef-adjoining dolphin watching industry in Lovina Bali Indonesia. Coral Reefs: Tourism Conservation and Management, 2018, 184–197. doi: 10.4324/9781315537320.

KIM S., PARK J.H., LEE D.K., SON Y.H., YOON H., KIM S., & YUN H.J. The impacts of weather on tourist satisfaction and revisit intention: a study of South Korean domestic tourism. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 2017, 22(9): 895-908. doi: 10.1080/10941665.2017.1357640


  • There are currently no refbacks.