Disaster with tourism workers: Even “foreigners” are not enough – Which regions have a problem

Disaster with tourism workers: Even “foreigners” are not enough – Which regions have a problem

From May 1, the tourist season begins and yet today nearly 62,000 positions are still waiting for employees to fill them, employees who nevertheless never show up! Domestic tourism caters to “ready” workers from third countries, such as Albania, Moldova, Skopje, Serbia and even Bangladesh, but even these are not in sufficient numbers. In fact, they are not even enough to cover 1/7 of the “empty” seats.

The young people of our country seem to have definitely turned their backs on the tourism industry which, among other things, to attract the agreed labor in “double” salary increases as reported by enikonomia.gr

What are the vacancies in the tourism industry?

It’s typical that last season too, one job in five was not filled in various positions, such as housekeepers, reception staff, but also in staff positions such as general manager or floor manager.

So what are the positions identified as “empty”?

  • Servers (5,164)
  • Receptionist (3,460)
  • Lanzeris (2,866)
  • Barista / Bartender – Barwoman (2,729)
  • Cleaners (2,404)
  • Cooks (2,340)
  • Gardeners (1,443)
  • Managing Director (937)
  • Floor manager (864)

Why do young people avoid tourism businesses?

Related research also points to the “roots” of the problem which now appears to have started to become permanent. Who are they;

  • Change of direction due to the pandemic
  • The “brain drain” in tourism too
  • Difficult living conditions (unsuitable accommodation)
  • Low salaries
  • High volume of work – difficult schedules.
  • They are not paid all year They remain unemployed for 4 and 5 months
  • Competition from other industries such as construction and retail

The areas where vacancies have mainly been identified are:

  • South Aegean 14,346 (24%)
  • Crete 10,808 (18%)
  • Central Macedonia 5,891 (10%)
  • Ionian Islands 8,378 (14%)

Nationally, it is estimated that at the height of the 2022 summer season 60,225 vacancies were registered, out of the 262,981 jobs planned according to the hotel organization chart. In other words, the missing rate increased to 23%, so that more than 1 in 5 positions remained vacant. The rate of missing data was similar in almost all departments and ranged from 21% to 24%.

These data are taken from the latest study by the Institute of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (INSERT) on the subject: “Employment and labor shortages in the Greek hotel industry at the height of the 2022 summer season”.

How many employees come “on loan” from third countries

The “solution” of importing workers from third countries turned out to be “inadequate” because with the last ministerial decision, the possibility of reclassification of 9,261 agents was approved for the catering and accommodation sectors for the period 2023 – 2024.

Some of the specialties foreign tourism workers are expected to cover include: kitchen helpers, porters but also porters, housekeepers, gardeners and cleaners.

New salary increase in tourism

However, in an attempt to attract workers, tourism employers accepted a “double” wage increase: a new agreement was even signed between the Panhellenic Federation of Food and Tourism Workers (POET) and the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers (BOXING), which provides for an increase in basic monthly salaries of 5.5% from 1 January 2023 and 5% from 1 January 2024.

The contract concerns four categories of employeeswhose base salaries vary from 1.1.2023 from 835.64 to 911.34 euros and from 1.1.2024 from 877.43 to 956.91 euros.

On base salaries allowances for seniority, marriage, tourist education, seasonal employment, uniform, unhealthy work, food and sleep (hotel accommodation) are added to this where applicable. The minimum wage also applies to workers in the same specialties employed by subcontractors to whom the hotel industry entrusts work.

For the summer and winter tourist season, the new ESS provides:

  1. As part of the organization of working time, the condition which provided for the granting of continuous weekly rest days to employees of five days is removed and the employer has the possibility of distributing the two days of rest in the week but intermittently.
  2. During the same periods, companies can employ employees for up to one additional hour per day without additional pay, provided that the average weekly work over a period of up to 8 weeks does not exceed 40 hours.
  3. As long as the occupancy rate exceeds 70%, employment is authorized on rest days for a supplement equal to one day’s salary. If it is a Sunday or a public holiday, the additional salary is a daily salary increased by 75%.


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