Labor Day Review: Tourism Revival and the Workers' Rights

BuildMost 2023-05-10 109 1

Tourists are reported to mob China's most popular attractions during Labor Day, set to inject confidence into global tourism and revive it. WTTC data shows that tourism is almost close to the pre-pandemic peak. On the other hand, Africa called for job creation, decent work, and a minimum wage. Rallies were also seen in other countries and regions to remind them to fight for more rights for workers.


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Macau Recorded 492k+ Tourist Arrivals 

According to preliminary data released by Macau Public Security Police, the number of tourist arrivals to Macau stroke 491,968 during the Labor Day holiday. Just on May 3, the last day of the break, Macau logged 53,298 visitor arrivals.

Nevertheless, CNN Business reported that more than 240 million holidaymakers mobbed China’s most famous destinations. State media CCTV said it was an increase of more than 20% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The sheer size of the crowds traveling across China has baffled some citizens. Beijing embraced almost 2 million tourists on April 29, doubled the number of last year. Shanghai Travel Data showed over 7 million tourists arrived in the city. The Xi’an police even suggested that tourists keep away from a busy shopping street sandwiched between two popular heritage sites.


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WTTC: Global Tourism Firmly Revive

The travel and tourism industry is now on its path to recover firmly to 2019 levels, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Julia Simpson, WTTC’s president & CEO, said that “the travel and tourism sector continues to recover at pace, demonstrating the resilience of the sector and the enduring desire to travel.”

In fact, WTTC’s 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) reported that the travel and tourism industry is forecast to reach a value of $9.5trn, which is just 5% lower than the sector’s highest record in 2019. Among these, 34 countries have exceeded their levels, while WTTC forecast a 95% recovery of the sector’s 2019 job levels.


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Africa Calls for Job Creation and More

Seen from the other side of the coin, Africans commemorated International Workers' Day in a completely different way. John Steenhuisen, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in South Africa, said it would be sad to celebrate Workers’ Day with so many unemployed young people as the unemployment rate is at 56% high. “How can we celebrate when workers come by with less and less of their wages because food prices have gone up by 14% and electricity by 19% in the last year?" Steenhuisen said in a video message.

In Kenya, opposition leader Raila Odinga urged workers to protest over the high cost of living in May Day celebrations. Also, in Nigeria, workers demanded a pay rise amid inflation and the high cost of living. Festus Osifo, president general of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria, said that Nigerian workers’ purchasing power has been depleted, and that is why they were asking the government to increase the salaries of workers.

Meanwhile, in Zambia and Rwanda, people appealed to the government and the employers to focus on inequality, poverty alleviation, social protection, and the health of workers.


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World’s Workers Remind to Struggle for the Working Class

Across the globe, this year’s May Day events unleashed pent-up frustration after three years of COVID-19 restrictions. Tens of thousands of workers across the world attended rallies to mark International Labor Day, marching and laying wreaths to remind people to struggle for the working class.

In Istanbul, Arzu Çerkezoğlu, head of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) expressed, “Today is the international day of unity, struggle, and solidarity of the working class. Today, not only in our country but all over the world, on five continents, the working class, those who produce all the values and beauties of this world, are in areas with their own demands, goals, and struggles.”

Rallies are also seen in France, South Koreans, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries and regions. 

Reference: 1. GGRAsia 2. CNN Business 3. Investment Monitor 4. Hurriyet Daily News 5. France 24

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