This study investigated how the decrease in tourism demand in 2009,
which resulted from the global economic crisis, has impacted on
employment, income opportunities and the livelihood of poor and
vulnerable groups, as well as on the capacity of households to cope with
such shocks. This evaluation aims to provide an insight into the
ramifications of the crisis for people's everyday lives.
A comparative large-N macroeconomic analysis provides empirical evidence
of how the decline in tourism demand has affected growth and employment
and what effects public policy measures had across countries on a global
level. The aim of this macroeconomic analysis is to identify patterns
and trends within the tourism sector and to specifically investigate the
varying impact of the crisis on developing countries.
The three country case studies - the Maldives, Costa Rica and Tanzania -
provide insights into the impact of the global crisis on levels of
employment and opportunities for low- and unskilled individuals working
in the tourism sector. The focus is on workers belonging to poor and
vulnerable groups on both the national as well as on the household level
(including youth at risk, low-wage, low-skilled, informal economy and
migrant workers). Reflecting the overall aim of the Global Pulse
Initiative, the case studies refer to value chain and sustainable
livelihoods approaches, in order to connect the macro with the micro
The Maldives, Costa Rica, and Tanzania were selected since (a) tourism
has a significant weight in their economies and employment, (b) they
witnessed a significant decrease in tourism demand (international
tourist arrivals and earnings) clearly attributable to the economic
crisis, and (c) their cases are typical of similar tourism
destinations/countries in their regions, or countries in similar
situations (e.g. small island states).
By evaluating the effectiveness of public policy and crisis mitigating
measures of private businesses and their influence on the livelihoods of
people, the report concludes by providing general recommendations on a
macro level, as well as country-specific policy recommendations for the
three case studies. These are intended, not only to meet short-term
needs, but also to develop context-specific strategies for improving the
crisis resilience of poor and vulnerable groups.
Steiner, C.; Richter, T.; Dörry, S.; Neisen, V.; Stephenson, M.L.; Lemma, A. F.; Mitchell, J.G.B. Economic crisis, international tourism decline and its impact on the poor. An analysis of the effects of the global economic crisis on the employment of poor and vulnerable groups in the tourism sector. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Madrid, Spain/International Labour Organization (ILO) Geneva, Switzerland (2011) 287 pp.
Economic crisis, international tourism decline and its impact on the poor. An analysis of the effects of the global economic crisis on the employment of poor and vulnerable groups in the tourism sector.