At this year’s World Travel Market in London, it was made clear to those attending that a “paradigm shift” in the way the global travel industry attracts, retains and adjusts staff amid post-COVID-19 shortages was needed.
To this end, a tourism workforce initiative underpinned by a charter focusing on the growth and retention of employees has been unveiled in a bid to combat declining workforce numbers.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett unveiled the cross-sector collaborative group at World Travel Market (WTM) in London at a time when hospitality, cruise and aviation are being affected by a “significant number” of 44 million global tourism workers not returning after the pandemic.
The working group believes there is a need to increase the annual growth rate to more than 30%. It will focus on key areas such as wages, working conditions, career paths, empowerment and communication that need immediate improvement.
Quantifiable annual targets will be set as well as “steadfast” sector commitments towards funding the activities. Enhanced global mentoring and employment programmes may be provided through a global portal.
Minister Bartlett observed: “The tourism industry needs to recover its attractiveness to workers and should undergo a deep and thorough analysis as to the factors which gave rise to this situation. Tourism, pre-pandemic has not been the best employer and many view our sector as low paying, low skilled and seasonal, offering little job security and social security. Hence, the need for a new charter to reimagine the labour market relations, the re- architecture of the social contract between the workers and the employers of the industry.”
The negative employment is threatening the integrity of the promise to offer a seamless and exceptional experience for visitors to destinations, according to Bartlett.