The impacts of all-inclusive hotels on working conditions and labour rights
In February 2013, the IUF and the London-based NGO Tourism Concern agreed to cooperate in investigating the impact of "All-inclusive" tourism on workers and their families (click here for more). The research is now completed and was presented at a launch event at the UK House of Commons on March 24.
The findings of this research (available here) reveal that the tourist sector in the countries studied is characterised by precarious work, low wages, long working hours and unequal opportunity. While these problems exist in a range of hotels, and are the result of inadequate labour law, minimal or no labour inspection, extensive subcontracting and low levels of union density, the impacts are greatest in all- inclusive hotels.
Major tour operators enter into competitive contracting with hotel chains which puts downward pressure on costs, including labour costs.
Local economies which rely on tourism are often disadvantaged by the "All-inclusive" model as most of the tourist expenditure is paid to the operator who retains profits in the host country. Little is spent in the host country outside of the hotel complex and chain of operators contracted by the tour operator.
The study concluded that the sector as a whole requires concerted efforts by all involved in the sector to facilitate workers’ access to rights and to promote collective bargaining to lift incomes.