Tourism is a major driver of the global economy. Prior to the pandemic it accounted for approximately 10% of global GDP and 25% of all new jobs. As the largest subsector – accounting for 40% of the industry’s footprint – transport has a significant role to play in shaping a sustainable tourism future.
As the tourism industry recovers from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, sustainability, health and safety, transition to formal jobs and digitisation are at the forefront of issues for transport workers.
80% of workers in the tourism industry are employed by micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). Jobs are characterised by a high level of precarity, lack of access to collective bargaining, inadequate health and safety protection, informal employment arrangements and exploitative working conditions.
Despite the high density of MSMEs in the sector, the tourism industry is driven by large multinational corporations that drive the industry. While not directly employed by them, tourism workers’ terms and conditions are influenced by the decision making of these corporations. Ensuring accountability at the top will raise standards for tourism workers everywhere.
Our work in the tourism sector is focussed on increasing access to union representation and raising employment standards for transport workers in the tourism industry. We do this by:
- Building affiliate capacity to organise, represent and collectively bargain
- Leveraging industrial relationships and partnerships in transport
- Establishing human rights due diligence models
- Working with other global union federations
The ITF’s work in the tourism industry focuses on supporting a sustainable, safe and resilient recovery of the industry by:
- Increasing workers’ voices in the transformation to a sustainable tourism industry
- Increasing workers’ access to trade unions and collective bargaining
- Ensuring corporate accountability for workers’ in their entire value chain, rather than just their directly employed workers
- Eradicating human trafficking
- Protecting worker health and safety
More in depth Q and A (9-page) explainer on why the world need a TRIPS waiver now, and why a TRIPS waiver is important for transport unions.
Short Q and A (2-page) explainer on the TRIPS waiver and why it matters to transport workers. Help us tell big pharma and governments to stop hoarding vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
The ITF’s tourism section brings together trade unions that represent transport workers who work primarily in the tourism industry.