ZAGREB, (Reuters) – Croatia’s tourist industry faces a shortfall of as much as one-third its workforce by next year according to Veljko Ostojic of the national association for largest tourist companies.
Croatia’s tourism industry is primarily focused on summer on the Adriatic Coast. It accounts for almost 20% of Croatia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Many seasonal workers are able to earn higher wages in other countries.
According to Ostojic, 100,000 people are employed in the tourism sector. We’re missing between 30,000 and 35,000. Ostojic stated that tourist companies have little time to waste and have launched recruitment campaigns for skilled employees.
In addition to the local market, hoteliers, restaurant and bar proprietors are looking for skilled workers not only in the Balkan countries of Macedonia and Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro or Serbia, but also in more remote areas such as the Philippines or Ukraine.
These jobs are competitive with higher-paid positions in countries of the European Union like Germany or Austria. Croats can now apply for jobs in Switzerland starting January, which places additional pressure on tourists businesses.
Ostojic stated that while the salaries of waiters and cooks in Austria are two times higher, we can compete by offering attractive accommodation, faster paperwork for work permits, lack language barriers, proximity to home, and more affordable working conditions.
Aminess is a north Adriatic hotelier looking for 1,000 workers next summer. He has launched a recruitment campaign to recruit workers for jobs such as waiters, cooks, and entertainers.
While we are always looking for people with the right experience and education, this isn’t a requirement as we will also be investing in future employees. Marina Peric from Aminess, the head of human resource, stated, “We will invest one Million Kuna ($150,000.022) next year.”
Ostojic stated that the tourist industry is pushing for digitization of paperwork to obtain work permits from people coming from other countries.
He said, “Without a workforce certain facilities will remain shut down or must reduce work hours.”
($1 = 6.6621 kuna)
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