UNWTO: Innovation needed to link jobs, tourism workers
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has underscored the need for innovation in linking tourism workers with jobs amid the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the global tourism sector hard, and up to 120 million jobs are at risk. However, tourism has a long history of adapting and embracing innovation,” UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said.

In line with this, the UNWTO has partnered with California-based Eightfold.ai to help connect tourism jobseekers with employers and to drive the global recovery of the sector.

“This partnership will be a great help to the millions of people who are dependent on tourism for their livelihoods, while also connecting employers with the very best talent our sector has to offer,”Pololikashvili said.

Under the partnership, UNWTO will be able to harness the power of the Eightfold Talent Exchange, a marketplace connecting workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with available jobs.

“Using advanced deep-learning AI, the Exchange matches people to the right jobs in companies that are hiring, creating a bridge between those looking for a job and organizations that need to hire quickly,” the UNWTO said.

It emphasized that 159 UNWTO member states, as well as the over 500 affiliate members will benefit from direct access to the platform.

“They will also be able to offer Talent Exchange to workers who have lost their tourism-related jobs due to COVID-19,” the UNWTO said.

Moreover, workers can also sign up to find available jobs that make use of their skills and experience. Members who have hiring needs can sign up to post jobs and find talent who can do the job immediately.

“With Eightfold Talent Exchange, we’re providing all members of UNWTO with a platform that can unite members over a shared goal: getting individuals who have lost their jobs back to work,” Eightfold.ai president Kamal Ahluwalia said.

“The AI powering the Exchange understands the capabilities of each person: both the skills that they have from their work experience, and the skills that they could easily learn,” he said.

The UNWTO earlier reported that the international tourism industry lost around $460 million in tourism receipts in the first half as tourist arrivals plunged.

In addition international tourist arrivals dropped 65 percent as countries around the world closed their borders and introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

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