France’s economic recovery is being severely hampered by a huge shortfall in domestic tourism jobs, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has said.
WTTC research shows that there are more than 70,000 jobs across France’s tourism and travel industry that remain unfilled. It said that more than 1.3 million people worked in the French tourism sector before the pandemic and nearly 175,000 of those jobs were lost by 2020.
The Council warned that such a low level of resources may not be enough to cope with the ongoing increases in travel demand, which is expected to reach pre-Covid levels in the coming months.
According to the WTTC, the hardest hit sectors of France’s tourism sector – in terms of staff shortages – are likely to be aviation and travel agencies; both currently finding it difficult to fill close to 40% of their job vacancies.
“The sector needs more staff to meet the current demand. The widespread travel disruption being experienced by millions of French holidaymakers is clear evidence of this,” said WTTC president and chief executive Julia Simpson.
“If these 71,000 jobs remain unfilled, they could threaten the revival of travel and tourism businesses up and down the country, which have struggled for more than two years from the impact of the pandemic,” she said.
The French research follows on from the WTTC recently claiming that nearly 1.2 million tourism-related jobs remain vacant, right across the EU. It said the areas of hospitality, aviation and travel agents are the areas feeling the biggest squeeze.
The WTTC has urged governments and companies in the private sector to tackle the talent gap through a range of measures including upskilling, and the offering of flexible and remote working arrangements and improved benefits and compensation packages.
Innovative technological and digital solutions, to alleviate pressure on staff and improve customer service, should also come into play, it said.
The WTTC said such measures should result in the ability to attract more workers to the sector.