A tourism workforce initiative underpinned by a charter focusing on the growth and retention of employees has been unveiled in a bid to combat declining post-COVID-19 workforce numbers.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett unveiled the cross-sector collaborative group at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, United Kingdom (UK), at a time when hospitality, cruise and aviation are being affected by a “significant number” of 44 million global tourism workers not returning after the pandemic meaning one in six vacancies will not be filled.
The working group believes there is a need to increase the annual growth rate to more than 30 percent.
It will focus on key areas such as wages, working conditions, career paths, empowerment and communication that need immediate improvement.
Quantifiable annual targets will be set as well as “steadfast” sector commitments toward funding the activities. Enhanced global mentoring and employment programs may be provided through a global portal.
“The tourism industry needs to recover its attractiveness to workers and should undergo a deep and thorough analysis as to the factors which gave rise to this situation,” Minister Bartlett noted.
“Tourism, pre-pandemic has not been the best employer and many view our sector as low paying, low skilled and seasonal, offering little job security and social security. Hence, the need for a new charter to reimagine the labor market relations, the re-architecture of the social contract between the workers and the employers of the industry.”
The negative employment is threatening the integrity of the promise to offer a seamless and exceptional experience for visitors to destinations, according to Bartlett.
Spearheaded by Travel Weekly parent Jacobs Media Group (JMG)-backed Resilience Council, which Bartlett co-chairs, and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), the cross-sector collaborative working group is being formed with participants across the industry.