Covid-19 and challenges of the tourism industry in Georgia: the outflow of qualified personnel

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Date
2021
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Press
Abstract
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a global economic crisis. Restrictions imposed to stop the geographical spread of the virus have negatively affected the financial stability of tourism. Most of companies were forced to lay off workers or send them on unpaid leaves. Consequently, the process of labor force sectoral shift began. According to the Self-determination theory, people try to find stable jobs and fulfil needs of autonomy, connection and competence. Therefore, the tourism industry is no longer discussed as an attractive employer for the next few years. However, considering the tendencies of massive vaccination and the forecast of World Tourism Organization, gradual stabilization of crisis and revival of international travel are highly predictable. It must be determined how the tourism business can cope with the emerging demand in the post-pandemic period without qualified employees. Therefore, the article aims to detect not only ongoing, but also post-crisis peculiarities of the tourism labor outflow. The research consists of the following stages: secondary data analysis, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 10 experienced tour guides and questionnaire survey of 96 tour guides. The research showed that 61% of the tour guides found job in the service sector with the help of sector-transferable skills and foreign language proficiency. Currently they work as a call center operators, translators, teachers, customer service officers, etc. In contrast to the international practice, in Georgia the shift of the labor force occurred naturally without the positive interference of the government. Although most of them have neutral attitudes towards working conditions and salary, 98% of currently employed guides have willingness to return to their favorite job at the earliest opportunity. The hypothesis: Georgian travel agencies will face problem of hiring qualified staff at the initial stage of tourism recovery, in the post-pandemic period – was not supported. The supply failure is not expected.
Description
• Coffey H. (2021). Vaccination Havens: the Countries Welcoming Immunised Travellers. https://cutt.ly/nk1Dzoo, Last Seen 16 February 2021. • Dogra S. (2020). COVID-19: Impact on the hospitality workforce. https://hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu/covid-19-impact-hospitality-workforce, Last Seen 23 February 2021. • GNTA. (2020). Economic Indicators. Georgian National Tourism Administration. https://gnta.ge/ge/სტატისტიკა/, Last Seen 15 February 2021 [In Georgian]. • Gössling S., Scot D., & Hall M. C. (2020). Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID-19. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 29, N1, pp. 1-20. • Kaushal V., & Srivastava S. (2021). Hospitality and tourism industry amid COVID-19 pandemic: Perspectives on challenges and learnings from India. International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 92, pp. 1-9. • Martins A., Riordan T., & Dolnicar S. (2020). A post-COVID-19 model of tourism and hospitality workforce resilience. https://cutt.ly/Sc8R0Ly, Last Seen 24 February 2021 • Mitchell W., Muysken J., & Welters R. (2010). Self-determination theory and employed job search. University of Newcastle. • PMCG. (2020). Tourism Sector in Georgia. Policy and Management Consulting Group. https://pmcg-i.com/publications_file/eeff5fa053e6e522f.pdf, Last Seen 27 February 2021 [In Georgian] • Randall T., Sam C., Cannon C., Tartar A., & Murray P. (2021). More Than 176 Million Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/, Last Seen 16 February 2021. • Samarathunga W. (2020). Post-Covid19 Challenges and Way Forward for Sri Lanka Tourism. Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3581509 Last Seen 24 February 2021. • United Nations. (2020). Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism. United Nations. https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/sg_policy_brief_covid-19_tourism_august_2020.pdf, Last Seen 25 February 2021. • UNWTO. (2020). Impact Assessment of the Covid-19 Outbreak on International Tourism. https://www.unwto.org/impact-assessment-of-the-covid-19-outbreak-on-international-tourism, Last Seen 18 February 2021. • Wyman O. (2020). The Future of Travel & Tourism in the Wake of Covid-19. World Travel & Tourism Council.
Keywords
Pandemic, Tourism Industry, Challenge, Labor Force, Outflow of Qualified Personnel
Citation
Economics and Business, №2, 2021, pp. 163-175
Collections