A final signal of danger in order to take immediate measures and decisions to solve the problem of staff shortage in the hotel industry, STEK sends in an announcement, noting that although the issue has been raised urgently for months, hotel companies are still waiting for the time to narrow worryingly.
"The signs for 2022 are very encouraging and could be the year of a substantial recovery after two very difficult years. However, with the current data, we will be forced to leave rooms empty and similar services out of operation since it will be practically impossible to cope with the increased demand ", said the President of STEK Akis Vavlitis, according to a relevant announcement.
The joint letter STEK - PASYXE to the Ministers of Labor and Finance, with notification to the Ministers of Transport and Tourism, which lists the data and the urgency of the issue of employment of staff from third countries, has not yet been answered, adds the announcement of STEK.
It is clear, it is stated, that in case immediate and sufficient measures are not taken, Cyprus will find itself in a particularly difficult position vis-.-Vis the competition and the consequences will be transferred to other similar areas of economic activity. At the same time, it is added, any reduction of the quality offered to the customer or even insufficient supply, will have successive consequences on the goal of upgrading and enriching the product and the image of the destination in general. "Taking into account the consequences and the blow to the economy (reduction of revenues and taxes) from the reduction of the number of tourists, it will take many years for our tourism product to fully recover, not only from the effects of the pandemic, but also from an issue which with will and quick movements we can manage as smoothly as possible ".
Given that the process for hiring workers from third countries takes several months to complete, STEK calls on the competent authorities to proceed immediately with a plan that allows and facilitates this process. In case of further delay, it is reported, the results will be disastrous and the new tourist season 2022 will be affected by any of the aforementioned serious consequences.
STEK refers to a recent report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (World Travel and Tourism Council), which states that the effort to recover the sector in 2022 is subject to the solution of this problem. Large tourist markets such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, the United Kingdom and the United States face similar problems.
The Council's main recommendation for tackling the problem is to facilitate the movement of human resources, as stated. "Governments need to review their immigration policies, facilitate visa procedures, promote local markets and address issues that may arise from tax treaties," the World Council said in a statement.
STEK states that it is at the disposal of the Government and the competent bodies to find long-term and sustainable solutions to the issue, but at the moment and in order to save tourism in 2022, decisions need to be taken immediately to allow the employment of staff from third countries.