London, UK – A new study by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the recovery of travel and tourism in France is at risk, as more than 70,000 jobs remain vacant across the country.
The study looked at labor shortages in France and other major travel and tourism destinations, such as the United States, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Portugal.
According to the global tourism body, the supply of labor may not match the increase in travel demand in the sector, which is expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels by the third quarter of 2022.
Data shows France is set to experience a shortfall of 71,000 jobs, with one in 19 vacancies going unfilled this year.
In 2019, before the pandemic, more than 1.3 million people were employed by Travel & Tourism in France. But in 2020, nearly 175,000* had lost their jobs.
France experienced the start of the recovery in 2021, with a 40.6% growth in the sector’s contribution to the national economy. However, staff shortages are commonplace in the country, with thousands of vacancies remaining vacant, putting the sector under pressure.
WTTC analysis shows French aviation is set to be one of the hardest hit, struggling to find candidates for almost one in three job vacancies (38%), while travel agencies could also do faced with a third (39%) of staff shortages.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “The sector needs more staff to meet the current demand. The widespread travel disruption experienced by millions of French holidaymakers is clear evidence of this.”
“If these 71,000 jobs remain unfilled, they could threaten the recovery of travel and tourism businesses across the country, which have struggled for more than two years from the impact of the pandemic.”
Last week, the WTTC revealed that up to 1.2 million jobs in the EU will remain unfilled, with hospitality, aviation and travel agencies being the most affected.
Some of the key actions identified in the report for governments and the private sector to close the talent gap include:
- Facilitate labor mobility across international borders, with more favorable visa policies
- Enable flexible and remote working where possible – allow for part-time or sub-contract opportunities where possible
- To assure decent work and competitive employee benefits and compensation
- Attract talent by improving the perception of professions and by promoting career paths that provide opportunities for development
- Develop and support a skilled workforce through comprehensive educational programs, as well as the development and retraining of current talent
- Adopt innovative technological and digital solutions to ease pressure on staff, improve day-to-day operations and provide an improved customer experience.
The global tourism body believes that by implementing these measures, travel and tourism businesses will be able to attract more workers.
This, in turn, would enable the sector to meet ever-increasing consumer demand and further accelerate its recovery, which is the backbone of generating economic well-being across the country.
*Refers to total DIRECT employment.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global travel and tourism private sector. Members include 200 CEOs, Presidents and Presidents of leading global travel and tourism companies from all geographies spanning all industries. For more than 30 years, the WTTC has been committed to raising awareness among governments and the public of the economic and social importance of the travel and tourism sector.
According to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, in 2020, a year in which it was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, travel and tourism contributed 5.5% to global GDP and were responsible for 272 million jobs.
WTTC Press Office