Hotels, catering and tourism sector

The hotels, catering and tourism sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. It is also among the top-job creating sectors because of its labour intensive nature and its significant multiplier effect on employment in other related sectors. Yet, the sector has a reputation of poor working conditions due to a number of factors: it is a fragmented industry with the majority of employers being small and medium sized enterprises with low union density, and work characterized by low wages and low levels of skill requirements, shifts and night work, as well as seasonality.

Work according to ILO’s Decent Work Agenda

In the HCT sector, the ILO tackles these problems through sectoral activities related to the ILO’s four pillars, which together constitute the ILO’s Decent Work agenda, which are Labour Standards, Employment, Social dialogue and Social protection.


Close cooperation with other UN Agencies, especially the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the main constituents in the sector, IHRA and IUF, is crucial for successful work. Read more in


    • On 7 October 2020, G20 Tourism Ministers have adopted the Diriyah Communique under the G20 Saudi Presidency and committed to stepping up their efforts to place decent work, sustainability and inclusion at the heart of tourism recovery and future growth
    • The G20 Tourism Working Group has developed the AlUla Framework for Inclusive Community Development through Tourism with the UNWTO to further advance the contribution of the tourism sector as an effective means towards fairer growth and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. Briefing note

    COVID-19 and the tourism sector

  2. Book

    Platformization of the tourism sector in Sri Lanka

  3. Tourism and COVID-19

    "Social dialogue will be critical for creating the effective policies and trust needed for a safe return to work."

  4. The Extraordinary G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19, held virtually on 24 April 2020, adopted the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Statement on COVID-19

  5. 9th meeting of Ministers of Tourism of G20

    Advancing Tourism's Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Declaration and Annexes

  6. Sectoral meeting

    Meeting of Experts to adopt Guidelines on Decent Work and Socially Responsible Tourism