The EU tourism ecosystem has been hit hard by the pandemic in the past two years, but the sector is traditionally an important player on the labour market, offering opportunities to a diverse workforce.
In 2020, the tourism sector (for the purpose of this article made up of accommodation, air transport, tour operators and travel agencies) employed more female than male workers (58% female workers). On the other hand, there were fewer female than male workers employed in all economic activities (46%), Eurostat reports.
The tourism sector also employed a higher share of lower-educated workers (18% compared with 17% of workers employed in all economic activities), foreign workers (13% compared with 8%) and young workers (9% compared with 7%). The pre-pandemic year saw even higher relative shares of the latter two groups (15% and 11%, compared with 8% and 8% of workers employed in all economic activities in 2019, respectively). The decrease in shares from 2019 to 2020 was most likely due to limitations in cross-border movements for potential new foreign workers, and a more difficult transition from school to labour market while tourism activity was largely on hold.
The tourism labour market is characterised by relatively high shares of part-time employment (23% compared with 19% of workers employed in all economic activities), temporary contracts (18% compared with 14%) and shorter average seniority (29% of workers have been holding their current job for less than 2 years compared with 23%).
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