Traveling has remained the key to happiness for everyone. From children to adults, schoolers to jobbers, everyone’s stress buster is traveling. Do you know there is something like the tourism industry? And it is one of the growing sectors in the whole economy right now. Those who are travel freaks or genuinely know about the travel or tourism industry. Would be knowing about World Tourism Day too.
From 1980, World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27th September every year as the statues of UNWTO (United Nations World Trade Organisation ) were adopted. The date was declared in 1970. These statues act as a milestone in the global tourism industry.
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The purpose of WTD is to create awareness of the role of tourism in the international market. To demonstrate its importance and how it affects society, culturally, politically, and economically worldwide. The current Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization is Zurab Pololikashvili.
Every year a country is selected to host the celebration of World Tourism Day by the Secretary-General of UNWTO and to act as an organization’s partner. Along with the host country, a theme is also selected in order to achieve the goal of creating awareness about the tourism industry. In 2017, the theme for the day was ‘Sustainable Tourism’ hosted by Qatar. Hungary hosted the WTD in 2018 with the theme’ Tourism and the Digital Transformation.
This year’s host country for World Tourism Day is India and the theme for the day is ‘Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All.` The purpose behind this theme is to highlight the information about the growth of the tourism sector and the job opportunities it is creating and will create in the future of work. And to address the global challenges outlined in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
The following is a brief overview of the theme for the day:-
- The tourism sector generates about 10% of job opportunities around the world. Still, it is undervalued even though it was included in the Sustainable Development Goals 8 for its potential to create decent work.
- This year’s main focus is to create more and better jobs for women, youth, and rural communities.
- To address the problems of mismatch between the tourism skills taught and skills needed for the tourism sector.
- The requirement of a holistic approach to the future of work in tourism with full cooperation between all sectors, including private and public.
Report on The Future of Work
The increase in social inclusion is making it necessary for every economic sector to create and ensure employment. Every sector has its potential to create job opportunities, and it should be utilized to its fullest. With technological development, there is a rapid change in the production process of many sectors, which is making a significant development but along with that, it has also imposed a threat on the existing employment, welfare, and education agendas.
According to the ILO (International Labour Organization), global unemployment remains high, more than 190 million in 2018. And to overcome this crisis, every sector that is related to the economy will need to create more and better jobs.
On its 100th anniversary, ILO released, ‘Work for a Brighter Future: Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work.’ This report has addressed the need for human-centered agenda for the future of work.
It has included the three pillars of action that will act as the path towards the growth, equity, and sustainability of the people and the work they do. The three pillars of action are:-
- Increasing investment in people’s capability
- More investment in institutions of work
- Increasing investment in decent and sustainable work.
And as tourism is a people-to-people sector with the growth rates beating the world economic growth and international trade, it naturally serves as a collaborator for ILO’s human-centered agenda for the future of the work.
Tourism and Jobs
Tourism is a labor-intensive sector. Hence, it is the major source for creating most of the employment. It is estimated that one job in the tourism sector can create about one-and-half of job opportunities indirectly in the tourism-related economic industry. Apart from this, it is still undervalued and underestimated.
The ILO estimates that ‘accommodation and restaurants’ together with private sector services will create job opportunities at the fastest rate in all the sectors in the economy in the coming five years.
The tourism industry has proved itself as a fierce and robust competitor that can withstand challenging economic conditions. Even after the global financial crisis of 2010, the tourism industry has shown a positive growth of 4% in seven years. It has also been in the SDGs (sustainable development goals) 8, 12, and 14. From which in goal 8, target 8.9 specifically mentions notable job creation in the tourism sector.
Jobs in the tourism sector include travel agent, hotel manager, tour operator, event and conference organizer, tour guide, PR manager, leisure activity coordinator, and many more.
MSMEs Key to Decent Work in Tourism
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the major job operators in the industry. A survey says that about half of the employees in the tourism sector are working in the enterprise with fewer than ten people. About three-quarters of the employees work in companies with fewer than 50 people.
The MSMEs are an essential source of innovation and economic diversification in the tourism sector. It also helps in shaping the socioeconomic development in destination countries. Along with this, it also faces some restrictions like access to finance, prohibiting business regulations and inadequate skills.
Promoting Jobs For Everyone
The tourism industry employs more women and youth employees than any other sector in the economy.
- 47% of people working in tourism are between 15-34 years of age, which is higher as compared to the whole economy (32%).
- 60% of the women are in the tourism sector, while in the service sector it is only 47%.
- Women entrepreneurs in the tourism sector are 36%, and it is comparatively higher than all the sectors together (22%).
It also creates jobs for people in rural or remote areas not only directly but in an indirect manner as well. Indirect job creation is through the preservation and renewal of traditional activities. Providing jobs for everyone including women, youth, and rural communities it is also meeting the targets of SDGs. The inclusion of strength will allow the tourism sector to unite people across the world in the celebration of diversity and will improve its social elasticity.
Serious Problems or Challenges Faced
When there are many benefits to the tourism sector, it is natural that there will be some serious problems or challenges that they are facing right now. These challenges are the following:-
Gender Pay Gap
There is a huge gender pay gap in the tourism sector. Paying the women in the industry 20-25% less than the male workers for the same skills. They are often in the form of training and education too.
Vulnerable Job Environment
Women who are in this industry with low skills often find themselves in the most vulnerable job environment. This includes the risk of poor working conditions, violence, exploitation, stress, inequality of opportunity and treatment, sexual harassment, etc.
Irregular Working Hours
Irregular working and unpredictable shift changes are other problems that the employees facing who are trying to harmonize family and work responsibilities. Though the flexibility in working hours also provides opportunities for individuals who are trying to combine the job in tourism and other occupations.
Apart from these, there is another problem the sector is facing. That is of part-time and temporary jobs. As this sector employs more women and youth employees, the chances of temporary and part-time jobs are high. They can often lead to decent work deficits, which include low wages, income inequality, poor working conditions, and inadequate social security coverage.
New policies needs to maximize the utilization of the tourism sector in creating more and better jobs for everyone. Right now, the tourism industry is facing many challenges as we read above. The important thing is to overcome the mismatch of skills in the sector.
The policies need to say goodbye to the ongoing tradition of the tourism sector working in isolation and far away from other economic sectors. There is a need for creating a link between the tourism sector and other sectors of the economy. The policy framework will need to pose a focus on skill development and education for innovative job creations.
The framework of policies should be done in such a way that it promotes the following points:-
- It should encourage the progress of innovation through,
– Establishing tourism innovation centers, incentives, and programs to connect start-ups, leading companies, investors, and government.
– Detailed research on changing demand for skills, due to yo digital revolution.
– Taking the initiative to promote innovation and technological skills.
- It should focus on bringing the educational institutes together from both the private and public sector and technology partners to help in creating the skills needed for future job opportunities.
- By bridging the gap between qualification and workplace skills through internships and scholarships.
- For ensuring the holistic approach to innovation and job creation include technology stakeholders in national tourism.
- Include tourism as a key sector at the national and multilateral agenda for the overall economic development, along with education, skills, and employment creations.
- The policy should focus on highlighting the capability of tourism in creating more and better jobs.
The tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution. It contributed $8.8 trillion to the worldwide economy in 2018. The Indian travel industry is hoping to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025. The global tourism industry estimates to produce 421 million job opportunities by 2029. The tourism industry is going to boost up in the coming years.
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