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Tourism can drive job creation

The Chinese G20 Presidency is hosting the 7th T20 Ministers’ Meeting this Friday 20 May under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development”. The International Labour Organisation’s Tourism Specialist, Lucie Servoz explains how sustainable tourism can be a driving force for decent work, economic growth and sustainable development. Source:

GENEVA (ILO News) – Tourism is a major engine for job creation and a driving force for economic growth and development, as highlighted by recent figures.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council data, in 2015 tourism directly created over 107 million jobs (3.6% of total employment representing 3 per cent of total GDP) and supported (directly and indirectly) a total of 284 million jobs, equivalent to one in 11 jobs in the world. By 2026, these figures are expected to increase to 136 and 370 million jobs respectively representing one in nine of all jobs worldwide.
Among the G20 countries, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa are expected to be among the fastest growing tourism and travel destinations. Among the non-G20 economies Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia are expected to show the strongest growth.
Tourism is a major contributor to employment creation particularly for women, youth, migrant workers, rural communities and indigenous peoples and has numerous linkages with other sectors. As a consequence, tourism can lead to the reduction of poverty and to the promotion of socio-economic development and decent work. However, if tourism does not respect local cultures and is uncontrolled, unsustainable or not socially accountable, it can also have a negative impact on local communities, their heritage and environment, exacerbating inequalities.
The ILO supports the promotion of more sustainable and socially responsible tourism and decent work in the sector by strengthening it’s linkages with related sectors in its supply chain e.g. agriculture, handicrafts, transports, infrastructure and construction while supporting and promoting an integrated approach and local sourcing.
By reinforcing initiatives to promote employment creation at local level, including rural areas, it contributes to social and economic development and poverty reduction though social inclusion, regional integration and expansion of local incomes.
Furthermore, investing into skills development and vocational education and training, and improving working conditions to enhance the sector’s image and service quality, the soft skills of workers improve competitiveness.
Finally, the ILO advocates a strengthening of social dialogue mechanisms and collective bargaining to enhance working conditions, career prospects and job security.

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