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Tourism workers make the Caribbean special

news 04 Dec 2023

Across November the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) as part of its Caribbean Tourism Month has been raising awareness of the importance of tourism to the Caribbean region under the theme of ‘One Caribbean: Investing in our People, Protecting our Planet, Prosperity for All’.

As the month draws to an end, the Tourism Workers’ Alliance called on the CTO to prioritise workers’ rights in its ‘path to sustainable tourism and inclusive growth’.

The Alliance is the collaborative trade union initiative created by the International Transport Federation (ITF) and International Union Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) to amplify the voices of over 270 million tourism and transport workers.

“We welcome the CTO’s vision to promote the Caribbean as a year-round destination and its work on sustainability,” said ITF Tourism Services Chair David Massiah. “This is a good start, but more must be done to improve the lives of workers in the region and their families. This must involve workers’ and their unions being at the table. Nobody wants to see a successful industry more than the workers who livelihoods depend on it.”

The Alliance believes that to be truly socially, economically and environmentally sustainable trade unions must be more involved in the region’s growth.

Clifton Grant, IUF Regional Secretary said, “We call on the CTO and its members across the Caribbean to work with unions to improve the working conditions in the region. All workers deserve to have their rights respected and protected; no destination can be considered sustainable unless workers are engaged in the process.”

Bringing together all parties – employers, governments and unions – in collaborative social dialogue can only help to open the door to greater knowledge and expertise that will benefit the region.