Magazine article Geographical

Tourism Concern Looking Behind the Smile

Magazine article Geographical

Tourism Concern Looking Behind the Smile

Article excerpt

Tourism Concern is holding a photographic exhibition at the Oxo Tower for two weeks over Easter and we'd very much welcome the opportunity to meet Geographical readers there.

Tourism Concern has mounted a campaign--Sun, Sand, Sea and Sweatshops--to improve the working conditions of people employed within large hotels used by the major UK tour operators. The exhibition, entitled Behind the smile: Tourism, the tsunami and other catastrophes, is part of the campaign, and we hope that it will reflect the vulnerability of those who work in the tourism industry.

All too often, working conditions are poor, and many are dependent upon tips to feed their families. "Most workers depend on tips because the wages are too low and provide a fraction of what we need to live on," says Ashraf el Sayad, the executive chef in five-star hotels and on Nile cruises. "Sometimes we ask for tips and are considered impolite. But if your back is against the wall, you must ask for money. …

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