Croatia’s tourism sector lacks a third of the workforce for next year


A boat passes in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Porec, Croatia, April 20, 2021. REUTERS / Antonio Bronic / File Photo

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ZAGREB, Dec. 3 (Reuters) – Croatian tourist facilities will face a shortage of a third of their workforce next year, the head of the national association of the largest tourism companies, Veljko Ostojic, said on Friday.

Croatia’s tourism industry, largely concentrated in the summer months on the popular Adriatic coast, accounts for almost 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and many seasonal workers may earn more in other countries.

“About 100,000 people work in the tourism sector and we are short of 30,000 to 35,000 people. Tourism companies do not have time to wait and many have started campaigns to find qualified people,” Ostojic told Reuters.

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In addition to the local job market, hoteliers and restaurateurs are looking for skilled workers in other Balkan countries such as Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia or Montenegro, but also in more remote regions such as Ukraine or the Philippines. .

They compete with better paying jobs in the richer countries of the European Union, like Austria or Germany. From January, Switzerland opens its labor market to Croats, which puts additional pressure on tourism businesses.

“Salaries for waiters or cooks are twice as high in Austria, for example, but we could compete with attractive accommodation conditions, faster paperwork for work permits, no language barriers and the proximity to the house for Balkan workers, ”Ostojic said.

Aminess, a hotelier in the northern Adriatic, is looking for 1,000 seasonal workers for next summer and has just launched a campaign to attract workers for positions such as cooks, waiters, butchers, artists and cleaning staff.

“We are looking for workers with experience or adequate training, but this is not an obligation as we are also investing in the training of future employees. We will invest one million kuna ($ 150,102) next year” said Marina Peric, head of human resources at Aminess.

Ostojic said the tourism industry is urging the digitization of red tape for obtaining work permits for people coming from outside the EU.

“Without manpower, some facilities will remain closed or have to shorten working hours,” he said.

($ 1 = 6.6621 kuna)

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Report by Igor Ilic; edited by David Evans

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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