UNWTO, the UN World Tourism Organisation, celebrates World Tourism Day 2016 under the motto ”Tourism for all - promoting universal accessibility”. Around 1.2 billion people are travelling the world every year, but major parts of the population are still deprived from experiencing the diversity of our planet, most of them not due to reduced mobility or disability, but because they simply cannot afford it.
Even in Europe, an average of 39 % of citizens cannot afford paying for one week annual holiday away from home, as shown recently by the European Commission “Summer holidays - but not for everyone!”. This is considered as one of the most prevalent forms of deprivation taken into account when calculating the EU's indicator for the risk of poverty and social exclusion.
EFFAT fully agrees with the need to make tourism facilities more accessible, but one of the major preconditions for making tourism accessible for all are high social standards and decent working and living conditions.
“People need decent work, with fair pay and full social protection, including paid annual leave, to ensure that every citizen can choose to make use of her/his right to go on holidays” stated Kerstin Howald, EFFAT Tourism Sector Secretary. “This would benefit the tourism sector as a whole, boost the creation of jobs and contribute to making employment in tourism more sustainable.”