Spain is currently facing a significant labor shortage in its tourism industry, despite the record number of international tourists choosing the country as their favorite travel destination, GE63 reports.
According to Randstad, a human resources company, Spain needs at least 60,000 additional workers to cope with the current situation. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that in January alone, Spain welcomed 4.1 million international tourists, accounting for an increase of 65.8% compared to the same period last year.
The surge in demand for workers has been a major challenge for authorities in Spain, who have struggled to find workers to meet the demand. INE figures released on March 23 showed that in February this year, there was a registered total of 24% increase with 16.8 million overnight stays compared to the same period in last year’s data.
The increase in demand has also led to an increase in hotel prices, which have risen by 13% compared to 2022 and 20% compared to 2019 statistics. The country needs a large number of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors to cope with the demand.
Easing work permit for foreigners
To manage the current situation, Spain’s Minister of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migration, Jose Luis Escriva, last year said that the country would ease work permit rules for foreigners as a response to the labor shortages noted in several industries, including the tourism sector.
Escriva confirmed that the country would grant a larger number of temporary visas for sectors that need workers to help the country recover faster from the damages caused by the spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants.
In February, Spain’s social security recorded a total of 2,549,823 foreign affiliates, indicating that the country is taking steps to address the labor shortage in the tourism industry. However, the shortage remains a significant challenge for Spain’s economy.
In response to the situation, leading companies, including Melia, have launched new campaigns on social networks to attract young talent workers. The labor shortage in Spain’s tourism industry is a significant issue, and the government’s efforts to ease work permit rules for foreigners are a welcome step towards addressing the situation.
The country’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, and addressing the labor shortage is crucial to ensuring its continued growth and success.