Handbook of Human Resource Management in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries
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Handbook of Human Resource Management in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Julia C. Hughes

The hospitality and tourism sector is an increasingly significant contributor to GDP worldwide, as well as a key source of employment in developing regions. Drawing on contemporary research, this Handbook provides a provocative review of the major human resource challenges facing the hospitality and tourism sector today.
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Chapter 9: Ageism and age discrimination in hospitality employment: issues, challenges and remedies

Andrew Jenkins


Older workers are an increasingly important source of labour for the hospitality industry. As a result of an ageing population and declining fertility rates in most countries, resulting in a smaller pool of younger people in the labour market, the hospitality industry’s traditional reliance on younger workers needs to be re-evaluated. Attracting, retaining and developing older employees is a key employment issue facing hospitality businesses. In order to address this issue, hospitality employers will need to confront workplace inequality faced by older workers and develop policies and practices to promote the health and wellbeing of their older workers. Negative stereotypical attitudes towards older workers, such as resistance to change, inability to assimilate technological developments and physical and cognitive decline need to be challenged. The chapter examines the barriers facing older employees in the hospitality industry and ways to reduce and, where possible, eliminate these barriers.

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