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DW: Greek tourism to a new record in 2024, but who will make the beds? – 2024-03-30 00:45:01

2024-03-30 00:45:01

After a tourist year with around 33 million visitors from abroad, the Greek government hopes that 2024 will also be a record year. And already bookings are up to 10% more compared to last year.

“But who will make the guests’ beds?”, asks the correspondent of the financial review Handelsblatt in Athens, Gerd Heller. “In 2023 there were more than 53,000 job vacancies in the hospitality industry” – and this year they could increase even more.

“The labor shortage is an ever-increasing problem. […] The tourism industry is not the only sector that needs more workers: in the construction sector there is a shortage of about 13,000 workers, in agriculture even 113,000. Employers report to the Public Employment Service that the total number of job vacancies reaches around 400,000 – at a time when the working population in Greece is a total of 4.27 million people.

At the same time, the lack of labor force is surprising at first sight, because Greece also has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU, after Spain”, continues the German journalist. But both the high unemployment rate and the labor shortage are due to the same condition: the economic crisis of the last decade.

In addition to economic problems, demographic issues also arose during these years: “About 600,000 mostly young Greeks left for abroad. […] Between 2010 and 2020 the population decreased by 5.9%. […] And according to economists’ estimates, Greece is going to lose half a million workers by 2040.”

Although “conservative Prime Minister Mitsotakis has made the demographic issue a priority,” government programs and benefits “will have an impact on the labor market decades from now. And businesses can’t wait that long,” comments the HB correspondent.

Source: DW

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