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Minister Bartlett Unveils New Global Tourism Labour Force Initiative: No Recover Without Workforce Return

Minister Bartlett Unveils New Global Tourism Labour Force Initiative: No Recover Without Workforce Return

A first of its kind initiative to drive the return and global expansion of the tourism workforce was announced by Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett. Bartlett recently spoke at the World for Travel event in Nimes, in a Fireside Chat with BBC host, Rajan Datar examined the issue of supply chain disruptions in the tourism industry and focused on the human capital deficit which is threatening to derail the strong recovery agenda of the industry. He examined the negative impact of over 44+ million members [as quoted by Statistica and the WTTC, June 2022*] of the travel and tourism workforce which have not returned to the sector post covid. While countries are gaining ground and travel numbers are returning to pre-covid levels, the Minister declared that there can be no recovery without the industry’s workforce returning in greater numbers. He stated that there needs to be a paradigm shift in the ways that the industry attracts, retains and adjusts to the post covid environment across all ages and genders. The world has changed as have other industries; the opportunity is now for the travel and tourism industry to future proof their greatest asset – people. The project will be referred to as PROJECT TEEM [Travel Employment Expansion Mandate].

At the World Travel Market, Bartlett announced the launch of a tourism workforce initiative center pinned by a charter that would focus on the growth and retention of human capital for travel and tourism industry which made up over 10% of global GDP in 2019, dropping to 6.3% in 2021*. At this critical time of recovery for destinations and the industry, the Minister has created a cross sector collaborative group to reimagine the framework for a new tourism labour market ecosystem. The minister noted that a significant number of the 44+ million tourism workers who have not returned to their jobs is affecting hospitality, cruise and aviation. This negative employment is threatening the integrity of the promise to offer a seamless and exceptional experience for visitors to destinations.

Spearheaded by Jacob Media’s Resilience Council for which Bartlett is Co-Chair and the GTRCMC, the cross-sector collaborative working group is being formed inclusive of players across the industry from the Global Travel and Tourism Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA) and the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (Alliance) and AWFT, not to mention heads from leading industry brands of every sector. Bartlett’s goal will be to immediately address the employment situation which is threatening to derail the strong recovery agenda the industry anticipates. Public relation heavy weights, Sinclair Partners and FINN Partners will drive communications. The group recognizes the need to increase the annual growth rate to more than 30% and will set quantifiable annual targets as well as steadfast sector commitments towards funding the activities. Enhanced global mentoring and employment programs may be provided through a global portal. The working group will focus on key areas such as wages, working conditions, career pathing, empowerment and communication that need immediate improvement.

“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,” stated Bartlett. “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.” Providing global guidance for the travel and tourism sector, Minister Bartlett adds this initiative to other critical plans such as the adoption of February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day, the creation of a Global Tourism Recovery Fund and the creation the Global Travel and Tourism Crisis Management Centres which provide research for and guidance for government tourism policies from academia.

For more information please contact: info@resiliencecouncil.com