About 1.2 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector across the European Union risk remaining unfilled, so the sector’s recovery could be put at serious risk, according to the recent report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the European Travel Commission (ETC).
The recent analysis of the sector by the WTTC revealed the challenging labour shortage amid the summer tourist season while urging the authorities to take urgent action in this regard, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The Travel and Tourism sector across the EU suffered a loss of almost 1.7 million jobs in 2020 when the pandemic reached its peak.
“In 2021, when governments began to ease travel restrictions, and travellers’ confidence improved, the sector’s direct contribution to the EU’s economy recovered by 30.4 per cent and recovered 571,000 jobs,” the statement issued by WTTC reads.
WTTC predicts that this year the sector’s recovery will continue to accelerate and will simultaneously reach pre-pandemic levels with an expected increase of 32.9 per cent in its direct contribution to the EU economy.
In this regard, WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson pointed out that Europe showed one of the strongest recoveries in 2021, ahead of the global average. However, according to her, current labour shortages may delay this trend and put additional pressure on an already suffering sector.
“Governments and the private sector need to come together to provide the best opportunities for people looking for the great career opportunities that the travel sector offers,” she also noted.
During the busy summer period, a serious number of vacancies are likely to remain unfilled, with travel agencies expected to be the hardest hit with a 30 per cent shortage of workers.
In addition, the air transport and accommodation segments are likely to suffer one in five unfilled vacancies, representing 21 per cent and 22 per cent understaffing, respectively.
Since the pandemic limited international travel, WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the effort to rebuild international travel.
At the same time, ETC has also worked with key stakeholders to better coordinate response measures at the EU level and facilitate travel.
Commenting on this situation, ETC President Luis Araujo added that since Europe is the main and most competitive tourist destination in the world, it is committed to becoming the most sustainable destination.
He also explained that the goal of the green and digital transition would only be achieved if we successfully attract and retain talent for the sector.
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