Tourism industry needs 85,000 more workers

  • Lusa
  • 29 December 2021

"Portugal's economic recovery could be at risk if we do not have enough people to fill those jobs when tourists return," said the president of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WWTC) on Tuesday.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WWTC) estimates that in Portugal, there is a lack of 85,000 workers in the tourism and travel sector and that this could have a “significant impact” on economic recovery, it said in a statement released on Tuesday.

According to the WWTC, as the travel demand increased in the second half of this year, especially during the summer months, the difficulties in hiring people were evident, estimating that by the end of this year, the shortage of workers will reach 85,000, which is equivalent to one in six jobs not being filled.

Next year, the WWTC estimates that the shortage of employees should remain, estimating an average shortage of 53,000 workers.

“Portugal’s economic recovery could be at risk if we do not have enough people to fill those jobs when tourists return,” said the president of the WTTC, Julia Simpson, quoted in a statement.

The lack of employees threatens the survival of many businesses, which are already in dire straits.

The WWTC also said that, despite the measures taken by the Government, in the last year, 92,000 people who worked directly in this sector had lost their jobs.

Worldwide, the Covid-19 crisis has caused 62 million jobs to be lost in the travel and tourism sector, creating a problem of worker shortages on a global scale.

Data from Oxford Economics for the WTTC (focused on the period between July and December 2021 and looking ahead to 2022) indicates that, in addition to Portugal, there is a shortage of workers in the travel and tourism sector in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and the United States.

The WTTC talked about measures for governments and companies to face the labour shortage crisis, arguing that labour mobility and remote work should be facilitated, social security support should be increased, and more qualification and retraining of the workforce and talent retention.