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Staff shortage hits tourism industry

By Anjana Sankar


The Middle East’s travel and tourism sector faces a chronic shortage of trained staff – and the problem has been made worse by the constant movement of employees from firm to firm.

Finding qualified personnel in sufficient numbers is the biggest challenge facing the industry worldwide, said John Koldowski, managing director of the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Strategic Intelligence Centre. “There is a huge mismatch between what the academic sector is offering and actual needs of the industry – leading to a severe staff shortage,” he added.
“The industry needs to set up a visible career path for young people, evolve an effective training system and introduce competitive salary rates to ensure employee loyalty.
“Without depending on governments, the sector has to seriously start investing in tertiary, secondary and primary education facilities to train the number of service personnel required to meet the region’s human resource requirements.”
A study on the future of travel and tourism in the Middle East said the industry will have to employ more than 1.5 million extra staff in the next 10 years. And the figure could be higher if all current development plans are completed.
Koldowski warned staff shortages would affect service. “Front-line service delivery will affect the results at the bottom line.”