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Touristic labour in Europe: how to compare it across different European regions

By Niklas Pernhaupt, Lukas AlexanderYuri Kazepov and Elisabetta Mocca from University of Vienna

As one of 12 research partners we are busy to contribute to the success of the SmartDest project.

The core research team at the University of Vienna consists of four people: Prof. Yuri Kazepov, Elisabetta Mocca PhD, Niklas Pernhaupt MA and Lukas Alexander MA. In SmartDest we are leading the empirical work of WP3 and provide transversal support to the case study leaders in task 3.1, 3.3 and 4.3. Moreover, we participate in various tasks in WP2, WP4, and WP5. We also planned a steering group meeting for September 2020 in Vienna, which had to be called off due to travel restrictions.

The previous few months we spent on refining our output of WP 2. More concretely, we conducted a systematic literature review on tourism typologies, where we analysed over 350 scientific publications. The results are going to be presented at the ATLAS Conference on the 3rd of June 2021 in Rotterdam. In addition to our review, we are trying to find a way to compare the quality of touristic labour across different regions. To do so, we first attempt to find a comparable approximation of tourism work. Different destinations come with different forms of tourism work. We are trying to find occupations that are likely common to most regional destinations throughout Europe. After we find our approximation of tourism work, we will look at different dimensions of job quality in the tourism sector. Which regions are characterised by contractual insecurity? Which regions show job insecurity in the sense of persons having to work multiple jobs, persons wishing to work more hours, and persons who are looking for another job? Which regions exhibit relatively bad working conditions? These three dimensions will then be summed up to an index of formal touristic labour quality and weighted by the socio-political context in which they are embedded. Here, we will explore which regions offer ‘flexicurity’ – e.g., a safety net to protect workers against the negative aspects of flexible labour.

 

What does Covid-19 mean for people working in the gig economy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the plight of the gig economy workforce into sharp focus. Some of this workforce is now busier than ever, delivering take-away food and online shopping to communities in lockdown. Others have been left high and dry by the collapse of travel which has frozen all activity for Airbnb, ride operators and similar providers. The contractual status of gig workers is such that they do not benefit from any of the emergency schemes introduced by governments such as furloughing or support for the self-employed which is generally linked to income declared for tax purposes over an extended period. Gig economy workers are among the most precarious of the precariat and the global pandemic has brought their plight onto the agenda of the media and, hopefully, governments.

https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0522/1140094-covid-19-and-its-impact-on-the-gig-economy/