Portugal holidays threatened by major ‘blow’ for tourists – ‘recovery may be jeopardised’

Simon Calder discusses cancelled holidays over Christmas

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New research on staff shortages by the World Travel and Tourism Council revealed a significant labour shortfall in Portugal’s tourism industry. It predicts that 85,000 jobs in tourism will be left unfilled by the end of the year.

The data by Oxford Economics for the WTTC looked at staff shortages in Portugal and other top tourist destinations.

A decrease in unemployment and an increase in staff demand has left many tourism businesses in Portugal unable to fill vacancies.

Shockingly, the research suggests that in 2022 companies will struggle to fill one in six vacancies in the sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “Portugal’s economic recovery could be jeopardised if we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs as travellers return.

“If we cannot fill these vacancies, it could threaten the survival of travel and tourism businesses up and down the country.

“Companies dependent on tourism have been hanging on for the upside, this is just another blow that many may not survive.”

Although the Portuguese Government did offer some financial support and schemes to support workers, 92,000 people lost their jobs in the tourism industry during the pandemic.

The report showed that as demand surged for travel in the latter part of 2021, companies struggled to find staff to replace absences.

The WTTC added that travel restrictions fail to stop the spread of coronavirus and damage the sector extensively.

Some experts believe that young people are put off applying for jobs in the travel industry as there hasn’t been much job security in the last couple of years.

Many who lost their jobs during the pandemic are reluctant to reenter the industry in case Portugal experiences another Covid wave.

The WTTC recommends that Governments invest in training schemes to encourage workers to enter the industry.

Portugal is a top tourist destination for British holidaymakers due to its great weather and stunning beaches.

Many Britons flock to one of the resorts in the southern Algarve region such as Lagos or Faro.

British tourists looking for a luxury break might prefer to holiday in Vilamoura for world-class golf courses and marina walks.

Another idyllic destination on the Algarve is Tavira which has maintained its small fishing village feel despite tourism.

Outside of the Algarve, the capital city of Lisbon offers one of Europe’s best value city breaks.

British holidaymakers should sample one of Portugal’s famous custard tarts, the pasteis de nata.

The northern city of Porto is another top destination for British holidaymakers. Wine fans can visit one of the nearby vineyards.

Not for the fainthearted, Britons could try the city’s famous sandwich, the francesinha, a tower of pork, smoked sausage, bacon and beefsteak.

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