News Article |  World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

News Article | World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

Nearly 50,000 travel and tourism jobs in Portugal could go unfilled, WTTC says

The WTTC envisages measures to address the shortage of staff in the sector

London, UK: A new staff shortage analysis by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed a labor shortage in Portugal, with nearly 50,000 travel and tourism jobs across the country expected to be unfilled.

The research looks at labor shortages in Portugal and other major travel and tourism destinations such as the US, France, Spain, the UK and Italy.

The data shows that in the third quarter of 2022 Portugal is expected to have a shortage of 49,000 workers, 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 were employed in travel and tourism in Portugal. But over 80,000 jobs were lost in 2020.*

Portugal saw the start of recovery in 2021 with a 32.6% growth in the sector’s contribution to the national economy. However, staff shortages are prevalent in the country, with thousands of vacancies remaining unfilled, putting the sector under pressure.

WTTC’s analysis shows that Portugal’s hospitality industry is expected to be the most affected, with both the hotel and food and beverage segments forecast to have 13% (one in eight) and 12% (one in eight) vacant jobs.

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The Portuguese government has always placed travel and tourism at the forefront of its agenda and is already addressing this issue with 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 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 passenger demand.”

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

Some of the key measures identified in the report for both governments and the private sector to address talent shortages are:
1. Facilitation labor mobility across international borders, with more favorable visa policies
2. Allow flexible and remote work where feasible – allowing part-time or contractor-based opportunities where possible
3. Provide decent work and competitive benefits and employee compensation packages
4. Attract talent by improving job perception and promoting viable career paths with growth opportunities
5. Develop and maintain a skilled workforce through comprehensive education programs as well as upskilling and retraining of current talent
6. Adopt innovative technological and digital solutions to relieve pressure on staff, improve day-to-day operations and improve customer experience.

The Global Tourism Organization believes that by implementing these measures, travel and tourism businesses will be able to attract more workers.

This, in turn, would enable the sector to meet ever-increasing consumer demand and further accelerate its recovery, which is the backbone of generating economic prosperity across the country.

Notes to the editor:
* Refers to total DIRECT employment

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