Stephanie Wilbrand* - University of Girona
Globalization and Internationalization have become dominant features of the postwar era and migration is directly linked to it, especially in the tourism sector.
Tourism is a profit making industry characterized by low salaries, business thinking and temporary workers. Countries that rely on tourism, such as Spain, are dependent on the inflow of low and high-skilled migrants.
The trend of temporary labor migration and repeated and circulatory migrations are becoming much more common. A way of encouraging this is through regional free movement agreements as within the European Union (EU).
Since 2004 with the accession to the EU of several countries, that had been main sources of undocumented workers, this E-W trend of the so-called labor-based immigration in the tourism sector has changed patterns.
Since becoming part of the EU in 1986, Spain's economy has grown to become one of the most prosperous in Europe being 14.5% of the workforce represented by foreigners in 2008. Of them, 21.2% are in the tourism sector.
The recent economic recession hit hard the tourism sector although it recovered faster than expected. It seems the State has interest in the tourism growth granting access to a workforce willing to accept the less than ideal employment conditions. This labor-based immigration of European origin forms a complex group divided into different typologies and migratory flows. This paper will explain this pattern through an example of multiculturalism, linguistic challenged and interdisciplinary working in the hotel sector on the Costa Brava, in Catalonia (Spain).