Study: Greece Tourism Professions in High Demand for the Future
The importance of upskilling and reskilling in maintaining Greece’s reputation as a leading tourism destination and the urgent need to train professionals prepared to meet the growing demands of the new era are the focus of a SETE Intelligence (INSETE) study released this week.
A key finding reveals that only 24 percent of employees in the Greek hospitality industry have graduated from tourism schools despite the majority working in 4- and 5-star hotels.
More specifically, according to the “The Professional Training Needs of Human Resources in Tourism” study conducted by Deloitte on behalf of INSETE, the research department of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Greek tourism stakeholders should focus on creating educational programs for 49 specialty and skills areas which should be a top priority for the coming period.
According to the study, the 10 professions/skills to be in high demand in Greek tourism in the coming years are: travel agency professional, tour guide, specialist travel advisor for emerging markets, specialist travel consultant, general manager of hospitality operations, public relations manager in hospitality, hotel receptionist, hotel reservations clerk, experiences creation manager, pricing policy professional.
“The importance of human resources is decisive especially when international assessments confirm Greece’s high ranking in the area of hospitality and high performances in friendliness and visitor service,” said the study.
In 2021, the Greek Tourism Ministry had announced that it was moving ahead with the creation of the country’s first tourism academy as part of plans to upgrade education and training in the field.
Indicatively, Greece reports high employment rates in tourism, with more than one million people working in the sector.
By 2030, Greek tourism stakeholders expect the hospitality and F&B industries to be in need of more highly skilled jobs. However, the industry has now found itself facing staff shortages. In 2022, hotels were short of 60,225 positions.
In the meantime, to meet staffing demands by tourism enterprises ahead of this year’s season, the government announced this month that it will grant a total of 167,925 residence permits to third country nationals for the 2023-2024 period.
Overall, according to the study, when it comes to human resource skills, Greece ranks poorly in the three pillars of the European Skills Index and in the vocational education and labor market linkage indicators. Study analysts underlined that well-trained human resources ensure a strong competitive advantage and point of differentiation for Greek tourism, particularly in a world that is constantly requiring personalized services. “The need for timely and effective adaptation of education and training to modern trends becomes imperative,” said INSETE.
Other key takeaways of the INSETE – Deloitte study:
– basic knowledge and skills identified correspond to five basic categories of great importance and impact for Greek tourism: social, administrative, technical, organizational and digital
– main knowledge and skills should focus on diversity, equality and inclusion; sustainability; and digital transformation
– last year ahead of the tourism season, more than 50,000 jobs were still open at Greek tourism enterprises
– other priority tourism professions and skills to be in high demand in the coming years include: chambermaids, cleaners and assistants, technical support and maintenance, IT department managers, butlers, head of F&B, maître d’s, waiters, cooks, kitchen assistants, pastry chefs, dishwashers, baristas, bartenders, yacht employees, cruise ship employees, cultural/religious destinations guides, museum promotion/advertising specialists, specialists in religious tourism and pilgrimage tours, city guides, event organizers, outdoor activities/agritourism experiences managers, wine tasting specialists, spa therapy/thalassotherapy specialists, health & wellness center operations managers, sports & wellness activities managers, chiropractors, digital marketing managers, sustainable operations managers, sustainable destination management professionals, sign language interpreters, accessible tourism managers, luxury property sales & rental specialists, and social media experts.
According to study analysts Greece should tap into a wide range of EU and RRF funds to upgrade tourism education and enrich training programs.