Senator David Massiah, chair of the International Transport Workers Federation, says Governments, Industry, and unions within the tourism sector can achieve much more if they work together to tackle the industry’s significant issues.
Today is World Tourism Day under the theme “Tourism and green investment.” It was set aside to highlight the need for more and better-targeted investments for the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN roadmap for a better world by 2030.
Tourism greatly impacts the global economy, accounting for 10% of global GDP, and is estimated to provide over 320 million jobs.
“In my country, Antigua and Barbuda, we say “Tourism is everyone’s business.” This slogan underscores how vitally essential tourism jobs are for the prosperity & and growth of our economy. But it’s not enough to just have jobs; they must be good jobs if the industry is to be sustainable,” Senator Massiah said in an address to commemorate the day
Massiah said ITF has three main pillars: People, Power, and Planet. People: The ITF aims to organize more workers and ensure their voices are heard, Power: The organization aims to leverage its supply chain strategy and industry partnerships to effect change and Planet: The ITF is committed to building a sustainable industry that protects our planet.
“We are already making progress and it was great to see the IUF & ITF create the Tourism Workers Alliance earlier this year,” he said
According to Senator Massiah, collaboration between governments, industry and unions can lead to more significant achievements in addressing the industry’s major challenges.
He said to ensure long-term sustainability, the industry must acknowledge and leverage the unique knowledge and experience of all stakeholders. By working together, we can effectively address issues such as human trafficking and sexual harassment, which have long plagued the industry.
Another crucial aspect to consider according to Senator Massiah, is the need to attract more women and young workers to the industry.
This, he said can be achieved by making tourism jobs a viable career option and by investing in the training and development of workers. By ensuring that tourism jobs are good jobs, we can build a brighter future for the industry.
Green investment is also essential for the long-term success of the industry, he said in his address, adding that trade unions and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have a critical role to play in ensuring that environmental, social and governance considerations are not just “buzzwords” but a reality for all workers, Senator Massiah added