New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Mediha Sahin
Chapter 10: A dual labour market for international migrants in a tourism-driven economy
Tourism plays an important role in the economies of many small islands as it generates employment (Wilkinson, 1987; Kontogeorgopoulos, 1998; Andriotis, 2002). The tourist industry is labour intensive, resulting in a strong demand for workers that cannot always be met by the local market in which case employers recruit labour migrants for the elementary jobs (Oigenblick and Kirschenbaum, 2002). These jobs pay relatively low wages and provide part-time or seasonal work opportunities (McKee and Tisdell, 1988; Pantin, 1999; Krakover, 2000; Kontogeorgopoulos, 1998). Many of these positions are taken up by young migrants from developing countries. As a lot of the work is in personal or domestic services, women migrants are recruited in particular (Salt, 1992; Zontini, 2004). However, the tourist industry also creates opportunities that are not at the bottom end of the job hierarchy. Job creation occurs directly through the employment of managerial staff and indirectly through the construction of real estate, and through the business and public services provided to the tourist industry. As the wealth of the population increases, induced effects occur due to home consumption. The tourist expansion therefore contributes to the dual character of the labour market for migrants. According to dual labour market theory (Piore, 1979) the labour market is segmented in a capital-intensive primary market and a labour-intensive secondary market. Workers in the primary market usually hold stable, well-paid skilled jobs.
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