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From bar staff to dishwashers, many bars, restaurants and cafes across Benidorm are struggling to recruit workers.
Those who are looking to spend their holidays in Spain may have to face a fair amount of disruption. From airline strikes to queues at security gates, international travel is hardly smooth sailing at the moment, and it seems that that disruption will continue once the holiday begins.
Spain’s hospitality sector is in desperate need of workers, however they are still 200,000 short ahead of a busy peak summer season. This came as thousands of workers left the Spanish hospitality industry when international travel shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports WalesOnline.
Many went on to find more stable employment, which does not rely on tourists and tipping. This has left the hospitality industry with the notable shortages.
The issue is also not isolated to Spain, with Portuguese hotels needing at least 15,000 more people to meet growing demand. The disruption caused by shortages will mostly impact the tourist hotspots in the countries.
This comes on the back of new laws set ahead of the peak tourist season that look to dissuade disruptive tourism. This includes a ban on drunken behaviour in the Balearic Isles and tighter tour guide restrictions in Barcelona.
Potential employees have been offered bigger salaries, free accommodation and extras such as cash bonuses and health insurance in a bid to fill outstanding vacancies. Gabriel Escarrer, chief executive of Majorca-based hotel chain Melia, said: “Many employees have decided to move to other sectors, so we are starting an industry from scratch and we have to fight for talent,”
His company recently provided accommodation, sometimes in hotel rooms, because of a shortage in rental options near its resorts. Bars and restaurants have increased workers’ wages by nearly 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to a year earlier, according to official data. But the tourism industry is still the sector that pays employees the least, around 1,150 euros per month.
Staff shortages are particularly pressing in Spain and Portugal, where tourism accounted for 13 per cent and 15 per cent of economic output respectively before the pandemic. The issue has been aggravated because of tighter restrictions on employing UK seasonal workers in destinations like Spain and other hotspots after Brexit. This has left thousands of summer roles unfilled.
Accor Hotels chief executive Sebastien Bazin claimed they could cope with shortages whilst properties were not running at full capacity but the crunch will come when they’re fully booked. He said: “The problem I have is, when I know between early July to end of August we’ll be 100 per cent occupied, can I service all the people?”
Spain’s catering industry is 200,000 workers short and Portuguese hotels need at least 15,000 more people to meet growing demand, according to national hospitality associations.
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