Southeast Asia’s labour market badly affected by tourism job losses from Covid-19

Previously bustling with tourists, the streets of Vietnam’s world heritage old city of Hoi An are eerily empty

Nearly a third of total job losses in four Southeast Asian countries last year were linked to tourism as the Covid-19 pandemic brought the industry to a standstill, with an estimated 1.6 million jobs gone, Bloomberg News cited a new study by the International Labour Organisation released on November 18.

Data from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei showed that job losses in tourism-related sectors in 2020 were up to four times greater than in non-tourism industries, the United Nations labour agency said in the paper.

“Even with countries in the region focusing heavily on vaccinations and designing strategies to slowly re-open borders, jobs and working hours in the tourism-related sector are likely to remain below their pre-crisis numbers in Asia-Pacific countries into next year,” Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, the organisation’s assistant director general and regional director for Asia-Pacific, said.

Brunei hit hardest

In percentage terms, Brunei was hit hardest, with employment and average working hours in tourism having contracted by about 40 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, last year. It was also the country that saw the largest difference between employment losses in tourism and non-tourism related sectors.

In the Philippines, employment in the sector contracted by 28 per cent compared to an eight-per cent loss in non-tourism related sectors. The number of tourism workers with no job at all rose 2,000-fold.

Tourism sector wages nosedive in Vietnam, Thailand

In Vietnam, average tourism wages fell by nearly 18 per cent, with the decline for women employees even higher at almost 23 per cent.

In Thailand, average wages in the tourism sector decreased by 9.5 per cent as workers moved into lower-paid jobs, while average working hours declined by ten per cent. In the first quarter of 2021, employment in the country was below pre-Covid 19 pandemic numbers in all tourism-related sub-sectors except for food and beverage serving activities.



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[caption id="attachment_37789" align="alignleft" width="300"] Previously bustling with tourists, the streets of Vietnam's world heritage old city of Hoi An are eerily empty[/caption] Nearly a third of total job losses in four Southeast Asian countries last year were linked to tourism as the Covid-19 pandemic brought the industry to a standstill, with an estimated 1.6 million jobs gone, Bloomberg News cited a new study by the International Labour Organisation released on November 18. Data from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei showed that job losses in tourism-related sectors in 2020 were up to four times greater than in non-tourism industries, the...

Previously bustling with tourists, the streets of Vietnam’s world heritage old city of Hoi An are eerily empty

Nearly a third of total job losses in four Southeast Asian countries last year were linked to tourism as the Covid-19 pandemic brought the industry to a standstill, with an estimated 1.6 million jobs gone, Bloomberg News cited a new study by the International Labour Organisation released on November 18.

Data from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei showed that job losses in tourism-related sectors in 2020 were up to four times greater than in non-tourism industries, the United Nations labour agency said in the paper.

“Even with countries in the region focusing heavily on vaccinations and designing strategies to slowly re-open borders, jobs and working hours in the tourism-related sector are likely to remain below their pre-crisis numbers in Asia-Pacific countries into next year,” Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, the organisation’s assistant director general and regional director for Asia-Pacific, said.

Brunei hit hardest

In percentage terms, Brunei was hit hardest, with employment and average working hours in tourism having contracted by about 40 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, last year. It was also the country that saw the largest difference between employment losses in tourism and non-tourism related sectors.

In the Philippines, employment in the sector contracted by 28 per cent compared to an eight-per cent loss in non-tourism related sectors. The number of tourism workers with no job at all rose 2,000-fold.

Tourism sector wages nosedive in Vietnam, Thailand

In Vietnam, average tourism wages fell by nearly 18 per cent, with the decline for women employees even higher at almost 23 per cent.

In Thailand, average wages in the tourism sector decreased by 9.5 per cent as workers moved into lower-paid jobs, while average working hours declined by ten per cent. In the first quarter of 2021, employment in the country was below pre-Covid 19 pandemic numbers in all tourism-related sub-sectors except for food and beverage serving activities.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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