IUF Statement on World Tourism Day 2022
The UNWTO’s official World Tourism Day celebration will be held in Bali, Indonesia under the banner of ‘Rethinking Tourism.’ While celebrated for its culture of hospitality and tourism, Bali is also a cautionary tale for the harmful effects of tourism without rights for workers. During the pandemic, many workers across the island were dismissed while others saw their working conditions drastically deteriorate. All this despite IUF affiliate FSPM’s demands for good faith negotiations to manage the crisis. Unfortunately, Bali is less the exception than the global rule for tourism workers.
‘Rethinking Tourism,’ if it is to be anything other than an empty slogan, must ensure full respect for and implementation of the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining – the key enabling rights for workers to win decent work.
Globally the tourism sector is recovering faster than expected, in some regions even surpassing pre-pandemic levels, and experiencing a strong upward trend for companies and countries. Yet workers in the sector are frequently denied their rights. Precarious jobs, low salaries, higher workloads, occupational health & safety violations and harassment, including sexual harassment, are all too often the daily reality for tourism workers.
The climate crisis and its impact on communities are regularly ignored by too many governments and corporations. Sustainable and socially responsible tourism should be the priority of governments’ tourism policies, including concrete measures for a Just Transition. This must be done in negotiation with the trade unions.
We agree that it’s time to rethink tourism. Let’s just make sure it actually works for tourism workers this time.