By browsing on our website, you are agreeing to our cookies policy.


Outcomes Revealed: EU Tourism Labour Market in 2020

The EU tourism ecosystem has been hit hard by the pandemic in the past two years, but the sector is traditionally an important player on the labour market, offering opportunities to a diverse workforce. 

According Eurostat, In 2020, the tourism sector (for the purpose of this article made up of accommodation, air transport, tour operators and travel agencies) employed more female than male workers (58 percent female workers). On the other hand, there were fewer female than male workers employed in all economic activities (46 percent).

The tourism sector also employed a higher share of lower-educated workers (18 percent compared with 17 percent of workers employed in all economic activities), foreign workers (13 percent compared with 8 percent) and young workers (9 percent compared with 7 percent).

The pre-pandemic year saw even higher relative shares of the latter two groups  (15 percent and 11 percent, compared with 8 percent and 8 percent of workers employed in all economic activities in 2019, respectively).

The decrease in shares from 2019 to 2020 was most likely due to limitations in cross-border movements for potential new foreign workers, and a more difficult transition from school to labour market while tourism activity was largely on hold.
The tourism labour market is characterised by relatively high shares of part-time employment (23 percent compared with 19 percent of workers employed in all economic activities), temporary contracts (18 percent compared with 14 percent) and shorter average seniority (29 percent of workers have been holding their current job for less than two years compared with 23 percent).

This article is being published on the occasion of the EU Industry Days. This is a flagship annual event, highlighting industrial frontrunners and ongoing industrial policy discussions whilst improving the knowledge base of European industry.