Last week, a new edition of the country’s largest tourism fair was held in Madrid, FITUR. Companies in the sector have huge expectations for this year, after months of ups and downs and an uncertain future. In fact, tourism is one of the most important strategic sectors for the national economy and for many years it has been the group that generated more wealth in Spain. In this sense, more than 65% of Spaniards work directly or indirectly in jobs related to tourism.
This year the recovery in employment has stood at only 0.7%, although in 2022 a rebound of 18% is already expected, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). While the demand for tourism services increases, the lack of professionals with qualified studies threatens the sector. The tourism industry is very dynamic and changing, as well as the profiles of the professionals who work in the sector. The unstoppable rise of technologies means that new job profiles.
In this sense, the future of the sector calls for specific qualities among its workers. According to Ostelea, School of Tourism Management, these requirements are: the ability to carry out several tasks at the same time, know and build customer loyalty, personalize the value proposition, be in constant training, digitize processes, technological skills or communication skills. The world is digitizing, and with it, job profiles.
Lack of qualified professionals
In the third quarter of last year, jobs related to tourism activities accounted for 13.1% of all jobs in the Spanish economy. “The numbers speak for themselves, 2021 has had nothing to do with the previous year”, highlights Ostelea Tourism Management School.
However, despite the fact that the tourism sector is one of the engines of the Spanish economy, it faces a problem of professional intrusiveness. As the demand for tourism services increases, the lack of professionals with qualified studies threatens the sector. Having higher education focused on specialization and professionalization is key to having the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with the client.
In any case, the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that tourism will create nearly 330,000 jobs until 2027 in Spain. According to the tourism management school, Ostelea, the professionals who are better prepared will be able to apply for the new emerging positions that will arise in the future.
Although the training offer in the tourism sector has increased in recent years, the shortage of professionals It is still the biggest problem in the sector. Employers in the sector are increasingly concerned about the shortage of qualified workers to cover certain professional profiles. This is a point in favor for all those trained professionals.
However, industry insiders are hopeful for more skilled staff in the long run. “Taking into account that in Spain there is a lack of specialized personnel for the tourism sector and, even so, the sector represents 14.8% of the national GDP. If staff training increases, this gesture would be reflected in the country’s numbers” states Ostelea Tourism Management School.