Disaster with Tourism workers: Even “foreigners” are not enough – Which regions have a problem

By | April 30, 2023

As of May 1, the tourist season begins and even today almost 62,000 positions are waiting for employees to fill them, employees who never show up! Domestic tourism is aimed at “lender” workers from third countries, such as Albania, Moldova, Skopje, Serbia and even Bangladesh, but even these are not sufficient in number. In fact, they are not even enough to cover 1/7 of the “empty” seats.

The young people of our country seem to have definitively turned their backs on the tourism industry, which among other things to attract labor agreed to in “double” salary increases as reported by enikonomia.gr

What positions are vacant in the tourism industry?

It is typical that last season too, one in 5 positions were not filled in various positions, such as waitresses, reception staff, but also in personnel positions such as general manager or floor manager.

So what are the positions identified as “empty”?

  • Waiters (5,164)
  • Receptionist (3,460)
  • Spearmen (2,866)
  • Barista / Bartender – Waitress (2,729)
  • Cleaners (2,404)
  • Cooks (2,340)
  • Gardeners (1,443)
  • General Manager (937)
  • Floor Manager (864)

Why do young people avoid tourist businesses?

Related research also indicates the “roots” of the problem which now seems to have started to become permanent. Who are they;

  • Pandemic Orientation Change
  • The “brain drain” also in tourism
  • Difficult living conditions (Inadequate accommodation)
  • Low salaries
  • High volume of work – difficult hours.
  • They are not paid all year They are left without work for 4 and 5 months
  • Competition from other industries such as construction and retail

The areas where vacancies were mainly identified are:

  • South Aegean 14,346 (24%)
  • Crete 10,808 (18%)
  • Central Macedonia 5,891 (10%)
  • Ionian Islands 8,378 (14%)

Nationally it is estimated that at the peak of the 2022 summer season 60,225 vacancies were registered, of the 262,981 jobs planned based on the organization chart of the hotels. That is, the missing rate went up to 23%, with the result that more than 1 in 5 positions became vacant. The stock-out rate was similar in almost all departments and ranged from 21% to 24%.

These data are derived from the latest study by the Institute of the Association of Greek Tourism Companies (BOX) on the topic: “Employment and labor shortages in Greek hotels at the peak of the 2022 summer season.”

How many employees come “on loan” from third countries

The “solution” of importing workers from third countries turned out to be “inadequate”, since With the last ministerial decision, the possibility of redeployment of 9,261 employees is approved for the catering and accommodation sectors for the period 2023 – 2024.

Some of the specialties foreign tourism workers are expected to cover include: kitchen helpers, porters but also porters, maids, gardeners and cleaners.

New salary increase in tourism

However, in an attempt to attract workers, tourism employers agreed to a “double” wage increase: a new agreement was even signed between the Panhellenic Federation of Food and Tourism Workers (POET) and the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers (BOXING), which provides for an increase in basic monthly wages of 5.5% as of January 1, 2023 and of 5% as of January 1, 2024.

The contract refers to four categories of employees.for which the base salaries range from 1.1.2023 from 835.64 to 911.34 euros and from 1.1.2024 from 877.43 to 956.91 euros.

About basic wages Allowances for seniority, marriage, tourism education, seasonal employment, uniform, unhealthy work, food and sleep (hotel accommodation) are added, as applicable. Minimum wages also apply to workers in the same specialties employed by contractors to whom work is assigned by the hotel business.

For the summer and winter tourist season, the new SSE provides for:

  1. Within the framework of the organization of working time, the condition that provided for the granting of continuous weekly days of rest to five-day workers is deleted and the employer is given the possibility of distributing the two days of rest within the week but intermittently.
  2. During the same periods, companies may hire employees up to one extra hour per day without additional pay, provided that the average weekly work for a period of up to 8 weeks does not exceed 40 hours.
  3. As long as occupancy exceeds 70%, employment on rest days is allowed with an additional fee equal to one day’s salary. If it is a Sunday or a holiday, the additional payment is a daily salary increased by 75%.


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