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Greek Tourism Sector Facing Staff Shortages Ahead of Season

Photo source: Pixabay

Greece is about to launch its tourism season with more than 50,000 jobs still open despite the high wages on offer, said the former president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis.

Andreadis, also the CEO of Sani/Ikos Group, made the comment on his twitter account noting that the shortages in staff mainly concern F&B (kitchens and service). He called on the government to take immediate action. “The quality of our tourism product is at risk,” he said.

Indicatively, only 10 percent of last year’s seasonal employees have been re-hired so far leaving open more than 50,000 job positions mainly in Halkidiki, Crete, Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos.

In response to Andreadis, the head of the Panhellenic Federation of Catering and Tourist Industry Employees (POEET) Giorgos Hotzoglou said the reasons jobs in tourism are not being filled have to do with the working conditions in the summer and the actual pay.

Hotzoglou told that seasonal workers, aware of the conditions, are turning to other industries for work. He went on to add that POEET has received dozens of complaints about employment rights violations. On top of that, hundreds of chefs, cooks, waiters and others professionals were unable to survive in the last two years of Covid-19 job insecurity. Many chose to either seek work abroad or change industry. Above all, Hotzoglou referred to the low pay and grueling working conditions.

“Employers differ from business to business. Not everyone offers adequate wages that will motivate a seasonal worker to decide to go to an island for work,” said Hotzoglou, adding that tourism enterprises on Mykonos, Santorini and Paros are looking for people to work seven days of week, 10-12 hours a day with accommodation and food and a salary of 700 euros while a number of employers are finding ways to avoid social security coverage.

Hotzoglou warned that if these issues are not addressed, next year will find the industry with even greater shortages in staff.

Minister: Gov’t wants quality and well-paid jobs in tourism

Commenting on the issue, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the government demonstrated this week that it wants “quality and well-paid jobs in tourism” and in this direction announced yesterday the increase in minimum wages from May 1 (from 663 euros to 713 euros). He went on to add that the ‘dividend’ of the tourism industry’s success must be shared, first of all, among employees because they are the ones who come in contact with travelers, make a good impression and strengthen the tourist brand.

It should be mentioned that INSETE, the research body of SETE, is monitoring the situation on staff shortages in Greek hotels. In March, the research body released a report on the situation during the 2021 summer season.

Looking for a job in tourism?

The Greek Travel Pages has a dedicated online job-find service that helps staffing firms in the tourism industry in Greece. If you are looking for a job in the Greek tourism industry check out GTP Careers in Tourism.

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