Tourism workers reaching end of their rope
Photo by Kate Townsend/Unsplash

Tourism workers reaching end of their rope

58% of tourism employees seek to quit sector in less than five years

Portugal’s tourism sector is facing yet another challenge when it comes to its workforce.

While the sector’s struggles to hire workers have been widely reported, a new study has found that most employees working in the tourism sector in Portugal are planning to leave the sector in less than five years.

According to Expresso newspaper, the study by temporary work company Eurofirms has found that 58% of current tourism workers are looking to find work in another sector.

The study was carried out in May 2022 and is based on the answers of over 500 tourism workers, who also explained which issues are leading them to want to abandon the sector: 61% blame it on casual labour; 41.8% say they are unable to balance their professional life with their family life due to the hectic schedules; and 54% say they earn no more than €800 in monthly gross wage.

“This portrayal of the sector helps explains the difficulties that it has faced when it comes to hiring and maintaining workers. Tourism is known for its difficult schedules, low wages and temporary employment,” Expresso points out.

The Algarve tourism sector’s shortage of workers remains one of the sector’s biggest challenges, Hélder Martins from the Algarve hoteliers association (AHETA) told the Resident last week.

“We are already working on this; meetings are being held and efforts are being made to bring workers from other countries to Portugal,” said Martins.

“But there are issues with this strategy which remain. These people need a place to live, and there is simply not enough affordable accommodation in the Algarve,” he said, adding that hotels and tourist establishments cannot afford to cover their rents.

And while the summer of 2022 may go down as one of the bestif not the best – the Algarve’s tourism sector has ever seen, businesses are seeing their survival at stake with the rising costs of everything from food to energy.

Some hotels are seeing their energy bills more than double – increases which the hotelier boss warns could force some businesses to “close down for good”.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com