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138,000 Workers in France’s Tourism Sector Lost Their Jobs in 2021, Report Reveals

The French travel and tourism sector has lost 138,000 jobs accounting for a 10.5 per cent reduction in the sector, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed.

Furthermore, about 219,000 workers are believed to have remained jobless in the second half of 2021, which makes up for one in seven unfilled vacancies in the sector. Looking ahead to 2022, the labour market is expected to remain fragile, with an average forecast shortage of 15,000 workers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Despite all the restrictions imposed in June 2021, the French tourism and travel sector experienced a boost during the summer season, which impacted the country to register the lowest job shortage out of all EU member states. WTTC’s report foresees that Spain will experience a job shortage of 16,000 workers, while Italy expects losses of 230,000 jobs.

Previously, WTTC conducted a report with McKinsey Company – ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: The Outlook for Business Travel’, which revealed that business travel spending in Europe had marked a 36 per cent increase, followed by a 28 per cent increase throughout 2022.

“We’re continuing to see incremental progress, and this report illustrates just how important business travel is to the global economy. Travel and tourism will continue to drive progress for millions around the world – especially as people begin travelling again,” Chris Nassetta, CEO of Hilton Worldwide, pointed out.

Another research from WTTC shows that travel and tourism in France have jumped by 34.9 per cent last year, which can account for an additional €38 billion or a year-on-year growth of 35 per cent, which by 2022 is anticipated to reach 21.8 per cent or about €32 billion.

“Last year the pandemic saw hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in France. This year employment remains flat, but we expect to see a big uptick in Travel and Tourism in France next year as long as the country remains open to vaccinated travellers,” Julia Simpson, WTTC’s CEO, Simpson said while emphasizing that France is recovering from the pandemic faster than other EU member states.

The same said that about 200,000 French citizens engaged in the travel and tourism sector lost their jobs last year, but employment rates are expected to remain at similar levels in 2022 – with a potential rise of 9.4 per cent, accounting for 236,000 job vacancies.

However, France, which holds EU presidency for the first half of 2022, announced it is determined to become a leading green destination for tourism this year, as the French PM, Jean Castex, introduced Destination France, a ten-year plan, with a budget of €1.91 billion allocated to rebound and transform the severely damaged tourism sector. The budget will include restoring hotels, cafes, restaurants, and other facilities to make them more sustainable.

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