6th meeting of Ministers of Tourism of G20

ILO welcomes agreement to boost tourism jobs at G20 meeting in Turkey

ILO Deputy Director-General says that tourism industry has a key role in contributing to global economic growth and job creation.

Press release | 02 October 2015
GENEVA (ILO news) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed a Declaration adopted by the 6th meeting of Ministers of Tourism of G20 member and other invited countries as an important move to promote job creation in the tourism industry around the globe.

The Declaration had been prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the ILO in close cooperation with the Turkish Government.

Meeting in Antalya, Turkey, the Ministers agreed to step up efforts to measure trends on tourism labour markets, identify skills needs, determine adequate policies to promote decent jobs in the sector, and to strengthen cooperation between the UNWTO and the ILO.

The ministers also encouraged G20 Leaders to consider tourism as a priority sector to deliver on the objectives of “creating quality jobs for all, investing in skills and reducing inequalities to promote inclusive and robust growth” contained in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8.

“With tourism being projected to grow even more rapidly, the sector has the potential to further contribute to economic growth and job creation especially in less advanced regions. This means that the tourism industry has a key role to play in meeting the global challenges set by the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” said ILO Deputy Director-General Greg Vines.

Tourisms and jobs

In 2014, the tourism sector accounted for more than 265 million jobs globally, equivalent to 8.9 per cent of total employment (1 in 12 jobs) and to 9 per cent of global GDP. What’s more, one direct job in the core tourism industry creates another 1.5 additional jobs in the tourism-related economy.

A recent study carried out by the OECD in collaboration with the ILO shows that SMEs are the major job creators in tourism: around half of the tourism workforce work in enterprises with fewer than 10 people, while around three quarters work in enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.

At the meeting, Vines also addressed the need to lift the quality of the jobs in the tourism sector.

“There is a divergence between the qualifications needed and workplace reality which is particularly apparent for many women and young workers. Decent working conditions are vital for a sustainable, competitive and productive tourism sector. Decent work makes the tourism industry more attractive to young workers and, at the same time, contributes to a better customer service.”

In this context, the ILO’s Deputy Director-General recalled that strengthening social dialogue between government, employers and workers can help to increase respect for labour rights, improve working conditions, as well as making it easier for companies to recruit and retain the workers it needs.

The ILO “Toolkit on Poverty Reduction through Tourism” produced in cooperation with UNWTO has proved to be a useful approach in this respect and has been implemented in Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.