About me

IMG_1434                                                                                                 iStock_000019012355XSmall

I am a 3rd year student at University of Lincoln studying International Tourism Management. I have been studying about culture and social and political perspective on tourism this past academic year.

It sparked my interest on different subjects, but migration hit close to home, therefore I have chosen to write about it in my blog. Additionally it links with the industry I want to work in and I believe that there need to be changes made. Furthermore I am volunteering at an organisation called Just Lincolnshire, it is an organisation whose purpose is to make a real difference to the lives of people from all backgrounds. By championing equality, tackling discrimination and celebrating the richly diverse make up of Lincolnshire. Since I started volunteering I have been involved with several events. In one of them I have been involved since the very beginning of the planning process that has given me a lot of insight into event planning and how organisations work together to achieve a common goal, but most importantly this event is about raising awareness about hate crime and I hope it will make a difference.

People within the tourism industry have to learn more about issues that migrants face and think how they can help and change the environment in which they work. Perhaps in this blog I can share the information and research completed in this field, combine it with my knowledge and experiences, as I am a part of so called migrant community, and give a different perspective on things.

I will focus on issues like what are the reasons migrants’ enter the hospitality workforce, what are their employment experiences, are they treated differently because they are migrants, because they don’t know their rights fully and are afraid to lose their jobs or is it because of the lack of language skills that limit the ability to stand up for themselves?

I am inviting you to see the invisible, to the general public, side of tourism – a video of BBC’s investigation on exploitation of migrant workers at leading hotels.

Exploitation of workers at top hotels

Migrants taking away jobs from British?

The aim of this blog post is to raise questions about the migrant workers and how it is perceived that they take British worker jobs. Would it really be better for Britain’s economy to forbid entrance to migrants?  

To begin lets imagine a young couple from Latvia. During the last recession Latvia experienced the EU’s largest and fastest increase in unemployment. The unemployment rate rose by almost 14 % from 6.2% in early 2008 to 20.4% at the end of 2009. However, labour market recovery has not been equally rapid (Anosova et al., 2012). Thus they decide to emigrate, somewhere they can have better life. As UK has better employment prospects, higher average standard of living as well as free healthcare it seems as a very good choice. With the appropriate skills, their job options are many, ranging from professorship to hospitality work to managerial positions. Together, they can support themselves along with their family back home. However because they are migrants they are constantly accused of taking “our” jobs, jobs that supposedly should only go to British workers. This actually forms one of the main arguments used to support legislation that limits and reduces immigration. So the question is how does immigrant labour benefit the United Kingdom if there are fewer jobs for the British?

By looking at statistics we can see that 50.2% of the UK working population has finished education at age 16 or under, while 53.6% of new migrants have obtained university level education that equates to 41.1% of all migrants (Centre for Economic Performance, 2013). In consequence it is visible that a larger proportion of migrants obtain a higher level of education than UK born citizens. Let’s think back to the couple, statistically it is very likely that they are well-educated and skilled – essential aspect to which we need to pay attention to when considering what benefits do migrant labour bring with it, as it  does take years to educate and train people. For this reason for example when 532,000 citizens migrated to the UK in 2013 (Ons.gov.uk, 2014), UK did definitely benefit from the labour of these educated and skilled workers instantly, without having to wait for the existing UK population to be trained and educated.

Migrants prevented the shortage of workers in professions such as lectureship (this I can corroborate also as I myself have several non-UK born professors at university) that evidently requires high level of knowledge. In conclusion, migrant workforce means more workers with high expertise and relevant experience that obviously leads to a superior human capital that is more competitive as well as efficient. Migrants do create a more competitive environment for sure, but that does not mean less jobs for British does it!?   

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Anosova, D., Sonin, K., Vanags, A., Zasova, A. (2012). Latvia’s unemployment is cyclical. [online] Available from: http://freepolicybriefs.org/2012/12/10/the-latvian-unemployment-is-cyclical/ (Accessed on: 12.04.2015).

Centre for Economic Performance. (2013). Immigration, the European Union and the UK Labour Market. [online] Available from: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/pa015.pdf (Accessed on: 19.04.2015).

Ons.gov.uk (2014). Net migration to the UK has increased, according to latest estimates. [online] Available from: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/migration-statistics-quarterly-report/february-2014/sty-ltim.html (Accessed on: 12.04.2015).

Migrants and community integration.

In this blog post I am going to debate whether it is the language skills of international people that come to UK or is it the system that is in the way of integration?

Migrants have historically formed a significant part of the tourism industry workforce (Baum, 2006; Choi, Woods & Murmann, 2000; Williams & Hall, 2000). It has been argued that the relationship between migration and tourism employment remains partly because the international workers have been used as a resolution for shortages in jobs where the locals are not willing to engage in – low pay, low status and seasonal employment (Choi et al., 2000; Williams & Hall, 2000). What pushed employer demand for migrant labor further, was undoubtedly the ease of hiring and firing resulting from levels of employment protection law by international standards (Rogers, Anderson & Clark, 2009). Besides, the comparative ease of access to jobs in tourism industry, limited opportunities in other sectors as well as not knowing the host countries language constitute the key motives for taking up work in tourism sector (Anderson, Ruhs, Rogaly & Spencer, 2006; Eade, 2006; Janta & Ladkin, 2009; Janta, Ladkin,Brown & Lugosi, 2011).


The employment in tourism sector gives migrants a chance to develop their language skills that in turn helps migrants to adjust better to life in the chosen destination (Brown, 2008), while its absence can limit access to information or support that leads to social exclusion (Spencer, Ruhs, Anderson & Rogaly, 2007). In my own experience, if talking about social exclusion, when I first came to UK in 2010 I applied to a high school in order to go to university although I had finished high school in my own country. So in the very beginning of my time in the UK school I was put in an English language class, which would be logical and fine right? Except I was put in a class with all the other migrants who didn’t speak English or their language skills were very limited – did I mention I spoke fluent English as I have been studying foreign languages since 5th grade and English was my third?! So why wasn’t I put in a class with English students? A good question I would say. Subsequently from this experience and others I am inclined to think that it is more likely to be the system that keeps foreigners separate from the natives rather than the language skills they have!? 





Anderson, B., Ruhs, M., Rogaly B., & Spencer, S. (2006). Fair Enough? Central and East European Migrants in low-wage employment in the UK. Report written for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, published as a COMPAS Report. Available from: http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/1617-migrants-low-wage-employment.pdf (Accessed on: 19.04.2015).

Baum, T. (2006). Human resource management for tourism, hospitality and leisure: An international perspective. Thomson Learning

Brown, L. (2008). Language and anxiety: an ethnographic study of international postgraduate students. Evaluation and Research in Education, 2(3), 75-95.

Choi, J., Woods, R. H., & Murrmann, S. K. (2000). International labor markets and the migration of labor forces as an alternative solution for labor shortages in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 12(1), 61–66.

Eade, J., Drinkwater, S., & Garapich, M. (2006). Class and Ethnicity: Polish migrants in London. Research Report for the RES-000-22-1294 ESRC Project funded by the

UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), University of Surrey.

Janta H., & Ladkin, A. (2009). Polish migrant labour in the hospitality workforce: Implications for recruitment and retention’. Tourism, Culture and Communications,9(1/2), 5-15.

Janta, H., Brown, L., Lugosi, P. and Ladkin, A. (2011) Migrant relationships and tourism employment. Annals of Tourism research Vol. 38 (4)

Rogers, A., Anderson, A. and Clark N. (2009) Recession, vulnerable workers and immigration, COMPAS background report, Oxford University

Spencer, S., Ruhs, M., Anderson, B., & Rogaly B. (2007). Migrants’ lives beyond the workplace: The experiences of Central and East in the UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Williams, A., & Hall, C.M. (2000). Tourism and migration: New relationships between production and consumption. Tourism Geographies, 2(1), 5-27.