How effective is tourism in creating jobs?

Global dialogue (2007)

Moderators: gregoryhubbs, Mary Finn, Amy Krause, Marianne Heredge, Gerhard, Marcus Bauer, Trip, ECOT_Julia, jugonzal

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planeta
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How effective is tourism in creating jobs?

Post by planeta »

TOPIC: How effective is tourism in creating jobs and providing an alternative to migration?

Request - Please keep your posts brief (recommended: 250 words or less) and focused on this question.

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Last edited by planeta on Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

ECOT_Julia
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Job generation and more

Post by ECOT_Julia »

Dear forum members, with regards to job generation in the tourism sector, I am sure, all of you have information about this. For ECOT, a major concern is looking into labour rights and treatment of workers (female and male) in tourism destinations.

In Thailand, for instance, a huge number of illegal migrant workers from Birma /Myanmar are working in tourism destinations without any protection so far. During the Tsunami, a huge number of them died, but no data are available as they were not registered. Thus, in terms of human rights including work conditions of migrants (often of poorer countries), ECOT is interested in learning about any ongoing research project or else to further include the tourism industry in that discussion.

Amy Krause
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Wages

Post by Amy Krause »

I would also be interested in hearing whether tourism wages are relatively higher or lower than other available wages in tourism regions. In places like Thailand - as mentioned in the previous post - maybe the wages are attractive because their are higher than other available wages? In the Canadian Rockies, tourism wages are lower than many other wages but perhaps because tourism is the predominant industry in many communities, the wages remain relatively low.

Trip
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job creation

Post by Trip »

Here is an interesting article by the CEO of the South Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) the discusses relationships between tourism, crime, job generation, and migration. Of interest, a direct, quantified correlation is referenced regarding the # of tourists needed to create one job:
"We know from worldwide tourism experience that there is a clear ratio of benefit

Gerhard
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Job creation: Macro and micro scale

Post by Gerhard »

I have seen the tourist "visitor number to jobs created"-ratio before but I would love to know how this is actually calculated because it has always struck me as very optimistic on job-creating potential of tourism.

They obviously use averages and presumably include indirect job creation due to multiplier effects and linkages with other economic sectors but comparing tourist to tourist and one country to another the variations can be enormous depending on (among others):

* the amount of money spent by each visitor per day
* the length of the tourist visit (where 2 of the other conference topics come in: 1. difference between slow travel and migration and 2. role of foreign residents.)
* the rate at which tourism income actually filters through in the form of job creation: tourism is intrinsically labor-intensive, yet there can be a major effect of external profit outflows in the case of corporate or medium-scale private ownership (international or on a regional level to another region or capital city etc.).

Other important questions about this job creation would include:
*how much the tourist jobs actually pay (and are they full-time or part-time)
* how permanent the jobs are
* and even how desirable the jobs are (for example low-paid manual labor that would leave the moment better jobs are available in other sectors)

Moving away from the macro scale: In Mexico and elsewhere I have seen many rural ecotourism projects being started in communities with high rates of outward migration for economic reasons. Obviously a major aim is to create income and jobs, yet often there are failures within one or more of the aspects of potential demand, actual attractions, a functional organizational structure, accessibility and getting the message out to the potential visitors (to name just a few variables). For rural tourism to create jobs you need certain basic conditions and then it requires a lot of hard work, a real interest in tourism and commitment.

An interesting aspect that I have recently noted in southern Mexico that some communities are changing their structure for ecotourism management away from appointing all the ecotourism workers for terms of a year or two (sometimes regardless of their interest) to actually inviting interested individuals from the community (including youth that might be considering migration) to participate and thereby creating potential for a more permanent job creation.

On the other hand one must take into account the vulnerability of tourism to external events (Nepal or the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas are examples where political problems suddenly caused a major drop in tourism). This should be a warning for over-dependence on tourism. Successful community tourism projects I have seen seem to regard tourism a bit like one of their several crops, and all those active in tourism still have their fields to fall back on during temporary problems.

Amy Krause
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Great resources

Post by Amy Krause »

Trip, thanks for the super article. Gerhard, great thoughts! I think your comments about calculation are right on the money. I also really appreciated your thoughts on other characteristics of employment that may come into play.

Marcus Bauer
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Seasonality

Post by Marcus Bauer »

In many tourism destinations the tourism season is coinciding with the major time of agriculture activity e.g. the harvesting season. In various parts of India I have been reported about problems arising from this. Former farmers who have found an engagement in tourism business have to / want to continue their farming activity and thus often are dependent on external workers.
This means:
- New workforce is needed for maintaining agriculture, i.e. a kind of multiplier effect is established. Money from tourism can trickle down.
- Small scale farmers become agrarian entrepreneurs, but they have to arrange with that. A man from Kerala reported that it took him some time to establish a system of controlling and monitoring the new workers, i.e. his engagement in tourism resulted in double work in the first time.

planeta
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Any other comments?

Post by planeta »

Any other comments on how tourism works in creating jobs that are an alternative to migration?

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