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Poverty Reduction and Decent Work through Tourism Workshop

HOI AN – A workshop on Poverty Reduction and Decent Work through Tourism, organised by the ILO in Hoi An on May 7-8, 2012 gave a focus on pro-poor tourism and provided an opportunity for policymakers, stakeholders, employers and workers to raise their voice on an action plan to further support the tourism industry in Vietnam.

Various tools, practices and policies to strengthen decent work in Vietnam tourism have been discussed and international good practices were presented.

The tourism sector is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in countries around the world. It is very labour-intensive and is a significant source of development and employment, especially for those with limited access to the labour market, such as women, youth, migrant workers and rural populations. As stated in the workshop the potential contribution of tourism to job creation will continue to increase as the country develops and Vietnam’s tourism expects to directly employ 940,000 workers by the end of the decade, more than double of the 2010 figure. “However, the growth in tourism human resources has not been equal,” said Dr Nguyen Van Luu, Deputy Director of MCST’s Training Department in a key note presentation at the workshop. Much of the tourism development has been limited to a few key areas whereas those in the rural interior of the country have benefited little.

For those who already have a job in the tourism industry, working conditions are another story in many places in the country. The ILO, therefore, is trying to promote “decent work” or opportunities for productive work that delivers a fair income, security in workplace, and social protection for workers, freedom to express their concerns, and equality for all, in the sector.

Mr Wolfgang Weinz, ILO global specialist in hotels, catering and tourism, presented a toolkit on poverty reduction through tourism. It aims at assisting developing and least developed countries to create a sustainable tourism industry and businesses based on decent employment. It is oriented towards SMEs and local communities in rural areas including case studies and best practices.

On behalf of the ESRT Programme Mr Hoang Nhan Chinh and Mr. Kai Partale participated in the workshop and discussed about the effective implementation of sectoral tools, especially the toolkit on poverty reduction through tourism, the application of the decent work agenda at sectoral level through social dialogue and the ILO convention 172 on working conditions in hotels and restaurants.

The workshop also allowed room for discussions on further collaboration between the ESRT programme and the ILO-Strengthening of Inland Tourism (SIT) project; activities on policy support, capacity building e.g. home stays, VTOS and public-private dialogue have been identified.

Created Date: 5/11/2012
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