Employee shortage hits global tourism industry


This summer, the sun and beach hotels in Spain have had enormous difficulties to fill jobs.

One of the reasons for this difficulty is that non-residents in beach destinations “this year they have not moved from their places of origin because they did not know if they would find work in tourist areas or if the hotel they used to go to every summer to ask for a job would be open, “according to Ramón Estalella, general secretary of the CEHAT hotel management association.

To this was added that a large percentage of the people who were included in a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) began an active search in other activities less affected by the pandemic and when the activity began to recover they preferred not going back to their old seasonal jobs.

According to data from Odgers Berndtson Spain, within tourism “40% of the people in ERTE have been actively looking for work to get out of such an exposed sector” and that is why Jaime Ozores, a partner of the firm, warned that “the brain drain will be dramatic.”

10,000 openings at Marriott

The tourist reactivation that the United States has experienced has caused Marriott International, which manages 600 hotels in the country, to start hiring employees again.

The chain has 10,000 vacancies at the moment, as it has said Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International, but they are immersed in a “talent scramble” as they cannot fill those jobs

Speaking to the Financial Times, Capuano acknowledged that the layoffs caused by the pandemic shook confidence in the sector and they now face staff shortages.

“We have to do a steady job of sharing the narrative that, in fact, this is a segment of the industry where you can build amazing careersWhile they are re-sowing that seed, Marriott has chosen to offer unique incentives and benefits to fill the 10,000 positions, something that was also done in Spain.

In fact, in Spain some hotels were offering free accommodation and meals for those who wanted to occupy seasonal jobs in their establishments.

Germany also suffers

Berlin’s bars, restaurants and hotels are also suffering from this new phenomenon derived from the pandemic.

The staff shortage in the hospitality industry is dramatic“, he assures Jonas bohl, spokesperson for the German Food, Beverage and Catering Union (NGG) to DW, detailing that “in the last year alone, around 300,000 employees left the sector and many will not return”

According to data published by DW based on information from the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA), the number of employees in German restaurants and hotels fell by around 15% between the start of the pandemic and September 2020.

“For too long, employers and their association have done little to make the industry more attractive,” said Jonas Bohl.

“The wages were and are too low, the hours of work too long and the quality of the training too low”, so that “these mistakes of the past are hurting the industry now.”

Build loyalty to the internal customer

In the latest magazine of HOSTELTUR We raised the six challenges that come to stay in the tourism industry after the pandemic and precisely preventing the flight of talents to sectors with a better image was one of them.

In Talent Management: the challenge of employee loyalty, the experts agreed that at the moment the tourism sector is perceived as a “risky” industry to work and develop. In order to seduce employees, one of the “most obvious, but expensive, solutions would be to neutralize the perceived risk with improvements in remuneration”, according to Valentine Boat, director of Randstad Research.

A good salary is not presented as the only solution to the problem. If what you are looking for is to retain the employee -and attract new ones-, there are seven points that must be addressed and promoted:

  1. Career opportunity
  2. Reconciliation between work and family life
  3. Emotional salary
  4. Personal welfare
  5. Recognition
  6. Sustainability
  7. Generational management
Talent management, full article