News Article | World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

Almost 50,000 travel and tourism jobs in Portugal could go unfilled, WTTC reports

The WTTC provides measures to address the shortage of personnel in the sector

London, United Kingdom: A new workforce shortage analysis by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed a labor shortage in Portugal, with almost 50,000 travel and tourism jobs across the country going unfilled.

The study looked at labor shortages in Portugal and other major tourist destinations such as the US, France, Spain, the UK and Italy.

The data shows that Portugal is forecast to face a shortage of 49,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2022, with one in 10 vacancies expected to remain unfilled this year, making it the least affected country of those analysed.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, more than 485,000 people worked in travel and tourism in Portugal. But more than 80,000 jobs were lost in 2020.*

Portugal saw the start of recovery in 2021, when the sector’s contribution to the national economy increased by 32.6%. However, there is a shortage of personnel in the country, thousands of vacancies remain unfilled, which puts pressure on the sector.

WTTC’s analysis shows that Portugal’s hospitality industry is expected to suffer the most, with both the hotel and food and beverage segments forecast to have 13% (one in eight) and 12% (one in eight) of 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 issue through strategic measures.

“Portugal’s Ministry of Tourism is very proactive and has introduced a flexible visa policy to attract talent. They do a great job.

“The future of travel and tourism in Portugal looks bright and in order to ensure a full recovery of the economy and the sector, we need to fill these vacancies to ensure that Portugal can meet the long-awaited demand from travellers.”

Last week, the WTTC revealed that up to 1.2 million travel and tourism jobs in the EU will remain unfilled, with the hospitality, aviation and travel agencies industries most affected.

Some of the key actions identified in the report for governments and the private sector to address the workforce shortage include:
1. Contribute labor mobility across international borders with a more favorable visa policy
2. Enable flexible and remote work where possible, allowing part-time or contractors where possible
3. Provide decent job competitive benefits and employee compensation packages
4. Attract talent by improving job perceptions and promoting viable career paths with growth opportunities
5. Develop and maintain a skilled workforce through comprehensive educational programs, as well as upskilling and reskilling of current talent
6. Adopt innovative technological and digital solutions to reduce pressure on staff, improve day-to-day operations and improve customer interactions.

The World Tourism Organization believes that by introducing these measures, tourism businesses will be able to attract more workers.

This, in turn, will allow the sector to meet ever-increasing consumer demand and further accelerate its recovery, which is the basis for creating economic prosperity across the country.

Notes to the editor:
* Refers to total DIRECT employment

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