The recovery of Italy’s travel and tourism sector could be threatened if a quarter of a million jobs remain vacant.

Findings unveiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) looked at labour shortages in Italy and other key tourism destinations such as Spain, France, Portugal, the United States and the UK.

The WTTC report reveals Italy has suffered the biggest impact out of the European countries analysed in the findings, with a shortage of 250,000 workers and one in six job vacancies set to remain unfilled in 2022.

Furthermore, the margin between supply and demand is set to soar further in Q3, the WTTC added, as demand in the tourism industry will near pre-pandemic levels.

In 2019, before the Covid outbreak, close to 1.4 million people were employed within the travel and tourism sector in Italy, yet around 200,000 roles were lost in 2020.

Since last year, Italy has enjoyed a robust recovery, registering 58.5% growth in the sector’s contribution to the national economy. Nevertheless, staff shortages have been rife throughout the country, piling the pressure on the industry.

Findings by the World Travel & Tourism Council reveal the accommodation industry and travel agencies in Italy are forecast to suffer the greatest impact, with 38% and 42% of unfilled vacancies, respectively.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO said: “Italy’s economic recovery will be put in serious danger if we don’t have enough people to fill the vacant jobs.

“If they remain unfilled, it will further dampen the revival chances of travel and tourism businesses across Italy which struggled for more than two years to escape the impact of the pandemic,” she added.

The WTTC said last week that up to 1.2 million jobs within the European Union remain unfilled, with the worst affected being hospitality, air transport, and travel agencies.

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