According to a report from ECO, in 2021, the HORECA channel had 244,400 workers, of which 65,900 were working in tourist accommodation and 178,500 in catering and the like, says AHRESP. These numbers translate into sharp drops compared to 2019: 76,300 fewer workers in two years, with 16,100 lost in accommodation and 60,200 in restaurants.

“Accommodation and catering activities have lost around a quarter of the workforce they had in 2019. Despite the fact that, in the summer of 2021, our companies slowly started to resume their activity, this timid recovery was not in parallel within employment, with the sector continuing to lose jobs", says the association.

New policies needed

Between 2020 and 2021, 47,600 workers were lost. “Considering this loss of proportions much greater than that of other economic activities, it is urgent to strengthen policies to support the maintenance of employment and the hiring of new jobs in the tourism sector, and the reduction of the tax burden associated with employment must also be considered”, defends AHRESP.

The association says it is a “priority” to make efforts to make accommodation and catering “more attractive to individuals seeking employment, allowing companies to recover workers who have been displaced to other activities” during the pandemic.

For several months, this sector has been warning about the lack of manpower, especially after the pandemic, which took many workers to other areas. The hotel industry, for example, estimates that around 15,000 workers are missing to meet all needs, stating that the solution involves hiring foreign labour.