Version 3.2

Transformational work-policies as pathways to a Degrowth future in tourism? Explorative analysis of the worker’s perspective

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of emphasis has been put to “build back better” the tourism industry, a former largely unsustainable and polluting sector. A key factor in this endeavour would be to break up the dependency upon tourism that exists especially in many destinations experiencing or having experienced overtourism symptoms. Hence the question arises what strategies exist to escape this lack of alternatives to tourism to open up space for sustainable degrowth transformations, bringing the tourism industry back into planetary boundaries and encompassing an equitable distribution of profits from the sector for the sake of all involved stakeholders. The aim of this study is to elucidate the often neglected perspective of workers regarding their situation on the labour market and the resulting demands and proposals for change. For this purpose, through a focus group with workers from Barcelona, the current situation is analysed and furthermore discussed to what extent different policies (universal basic income, working time reduction, economic democracy, job guarantee) being debated in progressive agendas, including the degrowth debate, influence the situation of workers and thus potentially pave the way for a sustainable transformation of the tourism industry. The results outline that the workers find themselves in an exploitative system rooted in neo-colonial capitalist practice, which reproduces the precarization of predominantly female and migrant labour even more since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To improve the situation on the labour market, the workers endorse all of the discussed policy programs, but seemingly favour bottom up initiatives for empowerment like a strengthening of economic democracy, as the trust in institutions and governmental structures implementing top down policies is lacking.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 17:00
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-4
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Resilience building through degrowth


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