WTTC reports complex human resources situation in the European tourism

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WTTC reports complex human resources situation in the European tourism
Source: WTTC
August 02, 2022

The World Travel and Tourism Council has revealed data on the number of vacant positions in key markets that put the recovery in the old continent on edge


The WTTC has published several reports in recent days that reveal the number of jobs that still remain unfilled in very important countries for the European tourism industry.

Last week, the WTTC revealed that up to 1.2 million Travel & Tourism jobs across the EU will remain unfilled, with hospitality, aviation and travel agencies being the hardest hit.

Some of the key measures identified in the report for both governments and the private sector to address the talent gap are:
1. Facilitate labor mobility across international borders, with more favorable visa policies 
2. Allow flexible working and remote where feasible, allowing for part-time or contractor-based opportunities where possible
3. Ensure decent work and competitive employee benefits and compensation packages
4. Attract talent by improving job prospects and promoting viable career paths with growth opportunities
5. Develop and support a skilled workforce through comprehensive educational programs, as well as upskill and retrain current talent
6. Embrace technology solutions and innovative digital solutions to relieve pressure on staff, improve daily operations and enhance the customer experience.

The world tourism body believes that by implementing these measures, travel and tourism companies will be able to attract 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 country.

Here's a look at key countries

Portugal Portugal
is forecast to experience a shortfall of 49,000 workers in the third quarter of 2022, with one in 10 vacancies expected to remain unfilled this year, making it the least affected country in Europe. those analysed.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, more than 485,000 people were employed in Travel and Tourism in Portugal. But 2020 saw the loss of more than 80,000 jobs.*
Portugal saw the start of the recovery in 2021, with a 32.6% growth in the sector's contribution to the national economy. However, staff shortages have been prevalent in the country, with thousands of vacancies remaining unfilled, putting pressure on the sector.
WTTC analysis shows that Portugal's hospitality industry is expected to be the hardest hit, with the hotel and food and beverage segments expected to account for 13% (one in eight) and 12% (one in eight) of vacant vacancies, respectively.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The Portuguese government has always put travel and tourism at the top of its agenda and is already addressing this problem with strategic measures.
“The Portuguese Ministry of Tourism is very proactive and has introduced a flexible visa policy to attract talent. They are doing a great job.
"The future of travel and tourism in Portugal looks bright and to ensure a full recovery of the economy and the sector, we must fill these vacancies to ensure that Portugal can meet the long-awaited demand from travellers."

Italy
The data shows that Italy is the hardest hit of the European countries analysed, expected to experience a shortfall of 250,000 workers, with one in six vacancies likely to go unfilled this year.
According to the world tourism body, the gap between supply and demand is expected to be even wider during the peak of the third quarter, when demand from the sector is likely to approach pre-crisis levels.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, almost 1.4 million worked in Travel & Tourism in Italy. But 2020 saw the loss of more than 200,000 jobs.
Italy has made a strong recovery since 2021, with a 58.5% growth in the sector's contribution to the national economy. However, staff shortages have been prevalent in the country, with thousands of vacancies remaining unfilled, putting the sector under great pressure.
WTTC analysis shows that Italy's accommodation industry and travel agency segment are forecast to be the hardest hit, facing more than a third (38%) and nearly half (42%) of unemployed vacancies. cover, respectively.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Italy's economic recovery will be seriously jeopardized if we don't have enough people to fill the vacant positions.
“If they remain unfilled, it will further diminish the chances of revival for Travel & Tourism companies across Italy, which have struggled for more than two years to escape the impact of the pandemic.”

France
The data shows that France is expected to experience a deficit. 71,000 jobs, leaving one in 19 vacancies unfilled this year.
In 2019, before the pandemic, more than 1.3 million people worked in Travel & Tourism in France. But by 2020, nearly 175,000* had lost their jobs.
France saw the start of the recovery in 2021, with a 40.6% growth in the sector's contribution to the national economy. However, staff shortages have been prevalent in the country, with thousands of vacancies remaining unfilled, putting pressure on the sector.
WTTC analysis shows that France's aviation is expected to be one of the hardest hit, struggling to find candidates for nearly one in three (38%) jobs, while travel agencies could also face a third. part (39%) understaffing.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The sector needs more staff to meet current demand. The widespread travel disruption experienced by millions of French tourists is clear proof of this.
“If these 71,000 jobs remain vacant, they could threaten the revival of travel and tourism businesses across the country, which have struggled for more than two years from the impact of the pandemic.”

UK
According to the world tourism body, the UK is expected to experience a shortfall of 128,000 jobs, with one in 14 jobs expected to remain unfilled. Restaurants and hotels struggle to find staff, but the UK government, unlike countries like Portugal, refuses to allow in temporary workers from abroad.
The UK hospitality, entertainment and aviation industries are forecast to be the hardest hit, facing unfilled vacancies of 18% (one in six), 12% (one in eight) and 11% (one in nine ), respectively.
Critical staffing shortages are now acute in transportation, particularly in the aviation industry, which is struggling to cope with post-pandemic travel demand.
Before the 2019 pandemic, 1.8 million people were employed in travel and tourism in the UK; by 2020, more than 200,000 had lost their jobs.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The UK's recovery is at risk. The government is not using the flexibility of the visa system to attract workers to the UK. Travel and tourism contributed almost £235 billion to the economy and employed almost two million people.
“Now visitors are arriving and find unstaffed restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues, and we will lose these travelers and their dollars in other countries.
“The big brands can't understand why countries in Europe are bringing in skilled workers like chefs, but the UK Home Office is not implementing the flexible 'points system' visas they promised.  
“The sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, it lost 50% of its value, it needs government action now.”
“In retail, UK stores are still reeling from the UK government's decision to scrap VAT refunds for visitors. It means that tourists can save 20% on goods if they choose Paris instead of London. The Minister of Finance needs to analyze this urgently”.
Despite the UK government's furlough scheme, which brought much-needed relief to the sector, the WTTC says more support is needed to fill these vacancies, which in turn will boost the economy through its contribution to the UK's GDP. country.
During the second half of 2022, data indicates that labor supply will continue to fall short of demand, with the gap projected to widen further in the third quarter of 2022 as demand approaches pre pandemic levels.

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