The World Travel and Tourism Council has revealed that Portugal experienced 92,000 direct travel and tourism job losses in 2020, representing a 19.6 per cent drop compared to the pre-pandemic levels.
According to WTTC latest report created in collaboration with Oxford Economics, one in six jobs in the sector will be unfilled due to the labour shortages, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Restrictions imposed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic only add to the current labour market crisis and hinder the recovery of the sector.
In addition, 92,000 people working directly in the country’s travel and tourism sector lost their job last year and unfortunately, the labour market is anticipated to witness a further average shortage of 53,000 workers. This means that labour supply is set to be 11 per cent below demand for 2022 – accounting for a shortage of one in nine jobs in the sector.
Furthermore, the labour demand in the country for the second half of 2021 stood at 475,000 and a shortfall of 85,000 – accounting for a ratio of 18 per cent.
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WTTC also recommended practices to restore working amid COVID-19, such as facilitating mobility and remote work, enabling safe work and providing social safety nets, upskilling and reskilling the workforce, retaining talent and creating and promoting education and internships.
“At present, staff shortage is a key issue for the travel and tourism sector, and while supply and demand are set to adjust gradually during 2022, the problem is likely to remain. In fact, the sector’s recovery is contingent on its ability to solve this issue and to be able to meet the returning demand for travel,” WTTC noted in its report.
Previously, the global tourism and travel body revealed that the EU’s sector saw the biggest economic challenge last year as a 51.4 per cent shortfall accounting for a €987 billion loss, was noticed. In addition, the Economic Trends Report showed that domestic spending in Europe marked a 48.4 per cent shortfall “offset by some intra-regional travel”. On the other hand, international spending fell by 63.8 per cent.
A similar labour market shortage is evident across the majority of EU member states as a 19.5 per cent reduction in jobs related to tourism, equating to 202,000 job losses was revealed in Spain, 10.5 per cent or 138,000 jobs were lost in France and 215,000 jobs accounting for 12.4 per cent reduction in Italy.