Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

Europe Urgently Needs to Fill 1.2 Million Travel and Tourism Job Vacancies

2 months ago

The European Union’s travel and tourism sector recovery is at risk unless 1.2 million jobs are filled, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council and European Travel Commission.

Vacancies are likely to remain unfilled during the busy summer period, with travel agencies predicted to be the worst hit with a 30 percent shortfall of workers.

Airlines and hotels are likely to suffer one in five unfilled vacancies, representing 21 percent and 22 percent staff shortage respectively.

“Europe showed one of the strongest recoveries in 2021, ahead of the global average. However, current shortages of labor can delay this trend and put additional pressure on an already embattled sector,” said Julia Simpson, council president and CEO, in a statement.

In 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, 1.7 million direct jobs were lost, they claimed. In 2021, when governments began to ease travel restrictions, the sector’s direct contribution to the European Union’s economy recovered by 30.4 percent and recovered 571,000 jobs.

This year, the council projects the sector’s recovery will continue to accelerate and almost reach pre-pandemic levels with an expected 32.9 percent increase in its direct contribution to the union’s economy.

The pair have identified six measures that governments and the private sector can implement to address the issue:

  1. Facilitate labour mobility within countries and across borders and strengthen collaboration at all levels, providing visas and work permits
  2. Enable flexible and remote working where feasible — particularly if travel restrictions still prevent workers from moving freely across borders
  3. Ensure decent work, provide social safety nets and highlight career growth opportunities — with work that is safe, fair, productive, and meaningful — to reinforce the attractiveness of the sector as a career choice and retain new talent
  4. Upskill and reskill talent and offer comprehensive training as well as create — to equip the workforce with new and improved skills
  5. Create and promote education and apprenticeships — with effective policies, and public-private collaboration, that support educational programs and apprentice-based training
  6. Adopt innovative technological and digital solutions to improve daily operations, as well as mobility and border security to ensure safe and seamless travel and an enhanced customer experience.

“Governments and the private sector need to come together to provide the best opportunities for people looking for the great career opportunities that the travel sector offers,” Simpson added.

Tour Operators

Still Too Much Sustainability Rhetoric From Travel Companies, Says Intrepid Chairman

3 months ago

The chairman and co-founder of Intrepid Travel has said there was too much “rhetorical flourish” from travel companies when it comes to discussing sustainability.

Speaking at the Skift Sustainable Tourism Summit on Wednesday, Darrell Wade bemoaned how organizations were touting a “build back better” ethos, while failing to take action.

“It’s disappointing, embedded into marketing, or even worse the boardroom,” he said during the online event.

“Half of the companies, probably more, will have done nothing. At the World Travel & Tourism Council, a good number of companies are talking the right way, and committing, but not enough are putting the rubber on the road.”

While some companies had managed to go beyond what he described rhetorical flourish, he said travel companies needed to ensure there was”company engagement” from the top, and they needed to commit measurable action, including science based targets. “You need to sign up to have that line in the sand,” Wade told moderator Rafat Ali, Skift CEO and co-founder.

“Sustainability is not easy, it’s heavy lifting. Even one aspect like climate change, to work out a pathway to zero emissions, is a lot of work,” he added.

Tour operators like Intrepid are at the forefront of the sustainability movement, Wade argued, because they are, in a physical sense, on the ground and dealing with locals, going face to face with communities.

“We’re often in remote areas, and that’s one of the reasons we go there,” he said. “It takes something climate change, and not a lot of imagination, to realize destinations will be impacted by climate change, before the New Yorks and Shanghais of the word,”

And overall he said that tour operators, including Intrepid, still have a long way to go, as they still emit a lot of carbon emissions.

By failing to take action, operators could end up alienating a public who are demonstrating intent to travel greener. Travel could become the new oil, Wade suggested, if tourists started saying “I’m not going to get in a plane.”

“It’s the role of every CEO, and staff member to start banging the drum,” he added.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article described Wade as CEO.

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