On World Tourism Day 2019, Patricia Affonso-Dass, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association offered this message:
The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day, “Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all”, is particularly relevant for the Caribbean because no other sector creates more jobs or more opportunities in a wider variety of professions and skills.
In addition to the 2.5 million people employed directly, many more
benefit indirectly from the industry’s contributions to Caribbean health,
wealth, education and the environment. Our infrastructure, schools, hospitals,
public services, and parks and recreation facilities are all helped by this
dynamic and growing industry – already the world’s largest sector but also its
The 2017 hurricanes and Hurricane Dorian that devastated some of
our destinations reinforced the indispensable role of tourism in our lives.
They remind us that for each tourism employee unable to work because of the
storms, many members of their families were also affected.
Initiatives such as “Tourism Jobs for Bahamians”,
just launched by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) together
with the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), are finding interim jobs
for displaced industry professionals.
There will be more jobs as tourism recovers from the hurricanes
and the industry resumes its healthy growth trend, and our task is to spread
the benefits more equitably to a wider cross section of our people. We want to
ensure women, youth, minorities, and the differently abled have open gateways
to employment, ownership and leadership within the industry. There are over
1,000 different job and career paths in the industry, a fifth of which are at
supervisory and management levels. Increasing diversity always strengthens
companies and organizations, especially in tourism. Our visitors come from a
wide range of backgrounds, so our people who welcome visitors to our shores
should also reflect the full spectrum of our rich human diversity.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, with the support of
many of the region’s local associations and our members, is earnest about its
mandate to develop our industry’s human resources. Well over 500 Caribbean
nationals have received higher education scholarships through the CHTA
Education Foundation. More than 1,000 chefs and several hundred bartenders have
honed their skills through professional development opportunities that CHTA and
the industry have provided through our Taste of the Caribbean initiative.
Thousands of employees have benefited from industry-sponsored
professional development training, including over 500 who attended
“diversity in the workplace” courses over the past year. Earlier
this year, CHTA launched its Young Leaders Initiative, in which dozens of
young people are developing their leadership skills and their understanding of
the industry and the opportunities it offers.
This does not include the additional investments that independent
hotels, resort brands, airlines, tour operators, attractions, taxi and
transportation providers, vendors and other industry stakeholders, with their
human resource professionals and employees, are making every day to deliver
Building upon a rich foundation, we have the responsibility to
make more opportunities to develop our people and our industry, anticipating
technological and consumer demand-driven changes which are now a constant. The
recent collapse of the world’s oldest travel agency offers more lessons. While
never losing sight of the fundamentals of hospitality, the dynamics of our
industry demands our adaptability and responsiveness to change if we are not to
face a similar fate.
Tourism can benefit every corner of our region and so on
this World Tourism Day, we celebrate the importance of the industry
and the employment and entrepreneurial opportunities it represents. We resolve
individually and collectively, as businesses, governments and education and
training institutions, to continue to invest in our people.
In the Caribbean, “Tourism is Everyone’s Business”.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the
Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel
and tourism associations. For more than 50 years, CHTA has been the backbone of
the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied
members, and 33 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s
future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether helping to
navigate critical issues in sales and marketing, sustainability, legislative
issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or,
looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is
helping members on issues which matter most.
As the 74th United Nations General Assembly gets underway, it is appropriate to be reminded of one of the missions, though the United National World Tourism Organization, to promote international travel. Each year, on September 27, UNWTO commemorates World Tourism Day with celebrations led by UNWTO. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, in line with UNWTO’s overarching focus on skills, education and jobs throughout the year, World Tourism Day will be a celebration on the topic ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all’.
Tourism’s role in job creation is often undervalued. This is
despite the fact that tourism generates 10% of world jobs and is included in
Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work.
New policies are needed to maximize tourism’s potential to
create more and better jobs, especially for women and youth. New policies are
also needed to reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology.
Policies and actions should be geared towards addressing the
current mismatch between tourism skills that are taught and those that tourism
This requires a holistic approach to the future of work in
tourism, with heightened cooperation between all actors, including the public
and private sectors.
The Future of Work
Creating and ensuring equitable employment is essential to
increasing social inclusion, peace and security. The potential of every
economic sector to provide decent jobs should be utilized to its fullest.
The emergence of new technologies has led to the development
of new forms of work that are rapidly changing production processes worldwide.
This both provides opportunities for, and puts pressure, on existing
employment, welfare and education agendas.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO),
global unemployment remains high, reaching more than 190 million in 2018. All
sectors and countries, therefore, need to create the conditions for more and
better jobs. Embracing new technology can play a key role in achieving this
Making the new wave of technological breakthroughs as inclusive
as possible will require considerable investment in training and skills for
life and work. Everyone should have a chance to develop their full potential so
as to beneﬁt from the new technological era.
To do this we need to examine the impact of technological
change on socioeconomic growth, jobs and inequality. We also need to provide
tools and skills to those who are looking for a job and as well as to those
whose jobs are at risk of automation.
On the occasion of its centenary in 2019, the ILO released
‘Work for a Brighter Future: Report of the Global Commission on the future of
Work’. This landmark report takes note of the forces transforming the world –
technology, climate change, demography, globalization – to call for a
human-centered agenda for the future of work.
By placing people and the work they do at the centre of
economic and social policy and business practice, the path towards growth,
equity and sustainability consists of three pillars of action:
Increase investment in people’s capabilities
Increase investment in the institutions of work
Increase investment in decent and sustainable work
Tourism is a leading people-to-people sector, with growth
rates outpacing world economic growth and international trade. It is one of the
main global export categories and with such a high impact on human workforce,
it serves as a natural ally of ILO’s human-centered agenda for the future of
Tourism and Jobs
Tourism is a major source of employment because
of its labour-intensive nature and the significant multiplier effect on
employment in related sectors. It is estimated that one job in
the core tourism sector creates about one-and-a-half additional
or indirect jobs in the tourism-related economy. Overall tourism accounts
for one in ten jobs worldwide.
The ILO estimates that ‘accommodation and restaurants’,
together with ‘private sector services’, will create jobs at the
fastest rate among all sectors in the economy over the next five
Tourism has proven to be a resilient economic
activity. In each of the seven years following the global economic
crisis of 2010, the number of worldwide international tourist arrivals
grew at 4% or above.
Tourism is a contributor to the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) as a target in Goals 8, 12 and 14. The
sector’s contribution to job creation is specifically recognized in Goal
8, target 8.9. This states: “By 2030, devise and implement policies to
promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and
Tourism’s voice at the UN level is mirrored in other global
development and policy fora. The 26th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State
and Government concluded in November 2018 with a high-level political
declaration on sustainable development in which tourism plays a key supporting
role. The commitment includes UNWTO as the designated global partner and marks
the first time the tourism sector has been featured in a top-level multilateral
More recently, the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration from June
2019 singles out tourism’s contribution to global economic growth and inclusive
and sustainable development: “Tourism accounts for a significant share of the
world’s GDP and is expected to continue to be an important driver of global
economic growth. We will work to maximize the sector’s contribution to the
creation of quality jobs and entrepreneurship, especially for women and youth
and in the creative industry; economic resilience and recovery; the
preservation of natural resources through sustainable tourism planning and
management; and the achievement of inclusive and sustainable development.”
However, despite representing 10% of the world’s jobs,
tourism’s role in employment generation and entrepreneurship is often underestimated and undervalued in
policy formulation and implementation.
A mismatch between available qualifications
and workplace reality is one of the major factors impacting tourism employment
and talent development. The gap between education and skills/knowledge needs,
and the resulting shortages of labour with ‘future-proof’ skills, continues to
dent economies and harm job creation prospects. Moreover, tourism suffers from
important challenges related to attracting and retaining talent and the
improvement of working conditions.
Tourism Jobs and the Digital Revolution
Globalization, technological progress and demographic change
are trends that, together, have redefined the tourism sector and how it
functions. At the heart of our now hyper-connected, hyper-informed world is a
digital-led revolution in markets, as well as in the demand for skills and the
characteristics of tourism jobs. Recent years have seen the emergence of
digital breakthroughs, including new platform tourism services (the so-called
sharing or collaborative economy), big data and geo-localization.
Some of the main issues the tourism sector faces in adapting
its workforce to the technological revolution are:
The need to review and update outdated legislation and
regulation that supports employment, innovation, entrepreneurship and new
The low level of awareness and expertise of new technologies
and technological trends
A lack of funding to invest in new technologies and training
for the jobs needed for the present and future
The lack of cooperation and communication among relevant
MSMEs Are Key to Decent Work in Tourism
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are now
the major job creators in tourism. OECD/ILO research shows that around
half of tourism employees work in enterprises of fewer than 10 people,
while around three-quarters work in enterprises of fewer than
Tourism MSMEs are also an important source of innovation and
economic diversification, helping to shape socioeconomic development in
destination countries worldwide.
However, access to finance, prohibiting business regulations
and inadequate skills are major constraints faced by all MSMEs including those
operating in the tourism sector.
The main challenge related to MSMEs, then, is to create an
enabling environment that at once improves their economic prospects, overcomes
barriers to decent jobs, and ensures that MSMEs’ economic activities are
Promoting Jobs For All in Tourism – Youth, Women and Rural Communities
The tourism sector employs more women and young
people than most other sectors.
Just under half (47%) of people working
in tourism in European OECD countries are between 15 and 34 years
of age, compared to a third (32%) of workers in the economyas
In OECD countries, women account for 60% of
employment in the tourism sector. This is higher than
the share of women employed in the services sector (47%) and
in the economy as a whole(43%).
Women play a leading role in tourism entrepreneurship.
UNWTO/UNWomen research shows that the global rate of women
entrepreneurs in ‘hotels and restaurants’ (36%) is comparatively
higher than in all sectors combined (22%).
Furthermore, tourism creates jobs in rural and remote areas,
not only directly but also indirectly through the preservation and restoration
of traditional activities. Often it is one of the few viable economic sectors in
The explicit mention of tourism in Goal 8, target 8.9 of the
SDGs recognizes its transformational potential on livelihoods and prosperity in
rural communities, both through providing access to decent employment and
through reviving traditional local industries.
By providing opportunities for women, youth and rural
communities in a variety of roles, tourism contributes to several SDG
target areas surrounding empowerment of vulnerable
groups and more equal and inclusive societies. More inclusion
strengthens tourism’s power to unite people across cultures in a celebration of
diversity, increasing overall social resilience.
Despite these benefits tourism provides, it must also
address serious challenges surrounding employment for all of these groups.
One is a large gender pay gap. In tourism,
women are on average paid 20-25% less than male workers for
comparable skills. Women are often over-represented in non-standard forms of
employment. Women also suffer segregation in terms of access to education and
Low-skilled women often find themselves in the most
vulnerable jobs, at risk of poor working conditions, inequality of
opportunity and treatment, violence, exploitation, stress and sexual
Temporary and part-time jobs are particularly
common among women, young people, and the less-skilled who are employed in
tourism. They can often lead to decent work deficits, including
inadequate social security coverage, low wages and income inequality, and poor
The tourism sector’s variable demand cycle, with irregular
working hours and unpredictable shifts, poses additional challenges for those
(of any gender) trying to reconcile work and family responsibilities. At the
same time, however, this flexibilitymay also provide
opportunities to individuals wanting to combine a job in tourism with
A Policy Framework for Decent Tourism Jobs
New policies are needed to maximize the
potential of the tourism sector to create more and better jobs,
while reducing the risk associated with an increasing skills mismatch.
There is a longstanding tradition of the tourism sector
working in isolation from other key economic sectors. The way forward is for a
more holistic approach to the future of work in tourism,
with clear links to other sectors that are important for
The major ongoing changes and challenges around tourism
employment require a new approach to skills development and education, policies
for innovation and job creation.
Encourage the progress of innovation in
tourism that fosters job creation and entrepreneurship, particularly among
women, youth and rural communities, through;
Establishing tourism innovation centres, incentives and
programmes to connect start-ups, leading companies, investors and governments;
Developing research on the changing demand for skills due to
the digital revolution;
Creating initiatives that promote innovation and
technological skills development in tourism;
Bring together educational institutions, the private sector,
governments and technology partners to review educational programmes and help
create the skill sets needed for future work opportunities, including soft
Further bridge the gap between available qualifications and
workplace skills needed, by supporting opportunities for appropriate
industry experience, such as internships or scholarships, along with
specialized education and training;
Include technology stakeholders in national tourism policy
coordination structures and mechanisms, in order to ensure an holistic
approach that accounts for innovation and job creation;
Include tourism as a key sector in both national and
multilateral agenda for employment, education and skills creation, and
overall economic development, highlighting tourism’s capacity to deliver on the
objectives of creating more and better jobs.
At the third New York State Tourism Summit, State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a commitment of $50 million to promote statewide tourism, create jobs, and attract more visitors to every region of New York. This investment, which is one of the largest ever by the State, builds upon the historic investments in the tourism industry which generated a $100.1 billion economic impact in 2014.
The summit, held in Albany, brought hundreds of tourism experts to the Capitol to discuss innovative ideas and new ways to encourage travel to all 11 vacations regions of the State. As a result of the Governor’s support of tourism, the industry has seen an increase in spending, state and local tax revenue, visitors and employment since 2011, and a record-breaking economic impact of $100.1 billion in 2014.
Last year, New York’s tourism industry generated direct spending of $62.5 billion, producing $7.8 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York increased by 8.2 million with nearly 227 million visitors in 2014. As New York’s fourth largest employment sector, one out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related. Data from 2014 show the tourism industry supported 867,900 jobs and generated more than $31 billion in wages.
Initiatives announced at the Summit include:
Increased Level of Tourism Funding: The State will invest nearly $50 million in tourism funding. This is more than $5 million compared to last year and includes tourism marketing, transportation promotion, international marketing, and funding for industry development.
Tourism Marketing Campaign:$25 million will be utilized for tourism marketing, featuring the I LOVE NY, Path Through History and Taste NY initiatives. The new marketing campaign will feature TV ads and other media at airports, on roads, on railways, on the web and on mobile devices to promote tourism opportunities throughout New York State. The very successful I Love New York television advertising campaign featuring actors and athletes from New York will continue into 2016.
Increased Transportation Access: A $4 million investment will be utilized to work with the Port Authority and MTA for opportunities to promote Upstate travel and make transportation information easily accessible for all travelers. The investment will also promote linkages from New York City via partners like car rental companies and bus and train operators to create transportation options in key areas where none exist.
Expand Global Tourism Markets: The Governor announced I LOVE NEW YORK will continue to expand its global reach through key markets in Australia and Puerto Rico. New York will create a Tourism Advisory Board in Australia, and host the first-ever Australia trade mission to bring New York travel representatives to meet with airline operators, travel media, and tour operators in Australia. In addition, announced during the Governor’s Solidarity Mission to Puerto Rico, a $5 million joint I LOVE NY tourism ad campaign will be used to promote travel between New York and Puerto Rico. This investment will provide a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the beauty of both Puerto Rico and New York and maximize the newly opened “I Love New York Welcome Center” in Puerto Rico at the NYS Office of Trade and Tourism. New York will also promote Upstate and build awareness of New York’s 11 regions through targeted marketing.
The weekend of January 16-18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend) will be a free snowmobiling weekend to encourage out-of-state and Canadian snowmobile enthusiasts to sled in New York State. State registration fees will be waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts wishing to explore New York’s 10,500 miles of snowmobile trails. Information on snowmobiling, including online registration for out-of-state snowmobilers is available here
President’s Day weekend (February 13-14) will be a free ice fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport. More information is available here
I LOVE NY is also entering a partnership with all five New York State AHL teams: Utica Comets, Rochester Americans, Albany Devils, Binghamton Senators and the Syracuse Crunch to increase economic impact of spectators at New York winter sporting events and expose sports fans to New York State winter getaway opportunities. New York State tourism destinations will be promoted at team games and events and the AHL schedule will be featured on I LOVE NY platforms.
Business Travel and Special Events: To maximize New York State’s appeal to business travelers and event planners the State will: leverage corporate relationships to promote New York State through corporate travel departments to increase the number of meetings and conventions held in the state; engage concierges at New York City hotels, directly and through trade associates, to highlight daytrips and overnight getaways outside of Manhattan through the I LOVE NY Bus; and underwrite a percentage of costs incurred by municipalities or private entities who were successful in drawing new special events to New York State.
Lodging development:A multi-agency, public-private workgroup will be convened to explore incentives and grant programs that would encourage investors and developers to create and improve lodging in areas where few facilities exist.
Outdoor Recreation Promotion:Working in partnership with Department of Parks and DEC, leverage New York’s world-class parks and outdoor recreation facilities by promoting parks, trails and activities to nature lovers through targeted publications and websites.
Agri-Tourism and Heritage Tourism:Through the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Taste NY, continue to build awareness of New York’s agri-tourism industry through culinary tours and encourage the creation of additional farm visit programs for consumers.
Market NY: Funding for the Market NY program will be increased to $13 million. This funding allows tourism assets to make necessary improvements and launch strategic marketing campaigns to increase visitorship. The funding will be awarded through the regional economic development council process.
In addition to increasing the state’s annual investment in tourism, the Governor will continue to host successful events such as the Adirondack Winter and Summer Challenges, and the new Catskills challenge to bring together state and local officials, tourism industry representatives and outdoor enthusiasts to strengthen tourism in Upstate New York.
“Tourism is vital to New York’s economy – it creates jobs and opportunity in virtually every community across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “When people visit New York, they fall in love with all that our state has to offer and keep coming back. I am proud that our administration is continuing to play a leading role in supporting tourism across the state, and I look forward to seeing the industry and our economy thrive for years to come.”
“As a result of Governor Cuomo’s historic investments, New York State continues to experience record-breaking tourism year after year,” Lieutenant Governor Hochul said. This can be attributed to the Governor’s ambitious agenda that has helped resurrect our I Love New York campaign, create good paying jobs, and attract scores of visitors from the North Fork to Niagara Falls. It’s no wonder that tourism generated over $100 billion dollars in economic impact last year alone. And with today’s $50 million dollars in new investment, we will entice even more people to come see what New York has to offer.”