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Resort hotels in Spain and Portugal plunged into chaos due to staff shortages

Hotels in two popular tourist destinations have been plunged into chaos due to staff shortages ahead of the high August holiday season. We are talking about Spain and Portugal, which, after a two-year break due to covid, still did not establish personnel “capacity” in the hotel industry.

The hospitality sector is currently experiencing a huge shortage of skilled workers, which is creating problems for hotels, bars, and restaurants, The Sun reported – with no one to serve tourists. At the height of the summer season, about 200,000 vacancies at the most popular vacation spots remained unclaimed.

The consequences of the coronavirus, during which thousands of employees left, are felt especially strongly in 2022 when the tourism sector began to recover. The problem is that those who said goodbye to the tourism sector do not want to return: in two years, they managed to master another field.

Frustrated employers are now offering them incentives such as higher wages, free accommodation, and cash bonuses. A concrete example: Spain’s popular hotel chain Escarrer has started providing accommodation to some employees to persuade them to return to the hotel sector. It seems that the experience gained is similar to the need to restart the entire sector, noted Gabriel Escarrer, chief executive of the Melia hotel chain in Mallorca (one of Spain’s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean). “Many employees have decided to move to other sectors, so we are starting to build a sector from scratch, and we have to fight for talent,” he explained.

According to official data, the wages of staff working in bars and restaurants have increased by 60%, but the tourism sector, as before, remains one of the lowest. The problem of staff shortages is particularly urgent in Spain and Portugal, where tourism accounted for 13 and 15 percent of economic output, respectively, before the pandemic.

Previously, some of the employees were British. However, after Britain left the EU, it became more difficult for both countries to recruit employees from this country. Tighter restrictions on UK seasonal workers have meant they can’t fly to Europe as easily.

Staff shortages come to the fore among other potential problems for travelers, including a possible strike by airport staff. Thousands of flights were canceled due to a lack of staff at departure points.

Earlier, DIP wrote that “Chaos has spread to Turkey.”

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