Human resources, a challenge in the midst of recovery

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Human resources, a challenge in the midst of recovery
Source: WTTC
July 20, 2022

The second semester shows signs of great vitality in the tourism industry, even so, the sector must resolve the incorporation of qualified personnel to be in a position to face the growing demand

Human resources are putting in check the takeoff in the recovery of tourism, although there are markets where this process is being experienced with better dynamics and without major complications, the situation in Europe sets off alarms about what can happen at a global level taking into account Note that there are countries where demand still does not reach levels close to 2019. 

The World Travel & Tourism Council ( WTTC ) and the European Travel Commission ( ETC ) warn that the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector could be at serious risk if almost 1.2 million jobs remain vacant across the EU.

The challenging summer labor shortage has been revealed by the WTTC in its latest sector analysis and calls for urgent action to address this critical issue.

In 2020, when the pandemic was at its height, the travel and tourism sector across the EU suffered the loss of almost 1.7 million jobs. 

In 2021, as governments began to ease travel restrictions and traveler confidence improved, the sector's direct contribution to the EU economy rebounded by 30.4% and brought back 571,000 jobs.

This year, WTTC projects that the sector's recovery will continue to accelerate and almost reach pre-pandemic levels with an expected 32.9% increase in its direct contribution to the EU economy. 

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Europe showed one of the strongest recoveries in 2021, ahead of the world average. However, the current labor shortage may set back this trend and put additional pressure on an already beleaguered sector.
” “Governments and the private sector must come together to provide the best opportunities for people seeking the excellent career opportunities that the travel industry offers. 

A large number of vacancies are likely to remain unfilled during the busy summer period, with travel agencies forecast to bear the brunt with a 30% shortage of workers (nearly one in three unfilled vacancies).

Meanwhile, the air travel and lodging segments are expected to experience one in five unfilled vacancies, representing a staffing shortage of 21% and 22%, respectively.
WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the push to rebuild international travel since the pandemic brought international travel to its knees. 

ETC has been working with key stakeholders to better coordinate response measures at the EU level and to facilitate travel.

WTTC and ETC have identified six measures that governments and the private sector can implement to address this urgent problem:

• Facilitate labor mobility within countries and across borders and strengthen collaboration at all levels by providing visas and work permits 
• Allow for flexible and remote working where feasible, particularly if travel restrictions still prevent workers from workers move freely across borders
• Guarantee decent work, provide social security networks and highlight career growth opportunities, with work that is safe, fair, productive and meaningful, to reinforce the attractiveness of the sector as a career option and retain new talent 
• Upskill and retrain talent and provide comprehensive training, as well as build, to equip the workforce with new and improved skills 
• Create and promote education and learning, with effective policies and public-private collaboration, that support educational programs and learning-based training
• Adopt innovative technologies and learning programs digital solutions to improve daily operations, as well as the mobility and border security to ensure safe and seamless travel and a better customer experience.
Luis Araujo, President of ETC said: “Europe, as the world's leading and most competitive tourist destination, is committed to becoming the most sustainable. But the objective of the twin transition (green and digital) will only be achieved if we manage to attract and retain talent for this sector. This is one of the biggest challenges for the sector and requires coordinated, multilayer and joint (public and private) solutions. The
two agencies believe that by implementing these measures, travel and tourism companies will be able to attract and retain more workers. 
This, in turn, would allow the sector to meet growing consumer demand and further accelerate its recovery, which is the backbone for generating economic well-being across the bloc.


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