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Tourism in Greece hit by staff shortages

Greece faces a tourism emergency for summer 2022 after being threatened by staff shortages.

The Mediterranean country, which thrives off tourism and makes a quarter of its national income off the industry, is expected to receive a record number of visitors this year.

But despite being a country with the highest number of unemployment rates in Europe, it is facing 50,000 staff shortages.

Andreas Andreadis, honorary chairman of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), tweeted about the incoming influx of tourists, following the lifting of all covid restrictions, with caveats.

He said: "Our quality tourism is in danger,” warning that the tourism industry was short of over 50,000 kitchen and service staff."

The shortages are a direct result of the pandemic, which two year restrictions resulted in hospitality workers seeking employment elsewhere.

Giorgos Hotzoglou, the President of the Workers Federation on Tourism and Hospitality, however told ‘ThessNews’ that the reason for staff shortages was due to poor working conditions and low pay.

He said: “Employers differ from business to business. But, not all of them offer adequate wages for the seasonal worker to decide to go to an island for work.

“Tourism companies [that] advertise for summer staff in Mykonos, Santorini or Paros, are offering a salary of 700 Euros plus accommodation and food for seven days of work, up to 12 hours a day.

“These salaries are not representative of such working conditions and employees are justifiably turning down the job offers.”

Over 22,000 refugees from Ukraine, who fled to Greece during the Russian invasion in February, could be expected to fill the spots."

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