Although the EU tourism ecosystem has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years, the sector is traditionally an important player in the labor market, offering opportunities to a diverse workforce.
According to Eurostat data, released on the occasion of the EU Industry Days*, the tourism sector (accommodation, air transport, tour operators and travel agencies) in 2020 employed more female (58 percent) than male workers. On the other hand, there were fewer female than male workers employed in all economic activities (46 percent).
The tourism sector also employed a higher share of lower-educated workers (18 percent compared with 17 percent of workers employed in all economic activities), foreign workers (13 percent compared with 8 percent) and young workers (9 percent compared with 7 percent).
The pre-pandemic year (2019) saw even higher relative shares of the latter two groups (15 percent and 11 percent, compared with 8 percent and 8 percent 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 labor market while tourism activity was largely on hold,” Eurostat notes.
Moreover, Eurostat points out that the EU tourism labor market is characterised by relatively high shares of part-time employment (23 percent compared with 19 percent of workers employed in all economic activities), temporary contracts (18 percent compared with 14 percent) and shorter average seniority (29 percent of workers have been holding their current job for less than 2 years compared with 23 percent).
* The EU Industry Days (8-11 February) is a flagship annual event, highlighting industrial frontrunners and ongoing industrial policy discussions whilst improving the knowledge base of European industry.