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According to the findings of a survey conducted by the Gozo Tourism Association (GTA), 91 per cent of tourism operators based in Gozo encountered a shortage of staff this past summer, with 93 per cent of these stating the shortage disrupted day-to-day operations.

GTA conducted a survey over the past days among its members to better understand the human resources situation prevailing within the Gozitan tourism sector.

Over the past year, reports from Malta and around the world from service-based businesses such as restaurants, bars, hotels and eateries have continuously come in about a critical shortage of workers to man operations as the global economy emerged from the pandemic.

In Malta, one of the most often cited reasons is the number of foreign workers returning to their home countries as well as a lack of confidence in tourism-based businesses due to the governments shutting down operations to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The Gozitan tourism operators taking part cited various motives when they were asked the main reasons for this staff shortage. Topping the list was a lack of confidence in jobs in tourism, the working hours, staff poaching and the hourly rates paid.

The majority of the survey participants (73.6 per cent) confirmed that this staff shortage resulted in a lack of service, while another group of respondents stated that they had to outsource some of their services. Other participants also declared staff replacement was often sought from other departments within the same establishment.

The GTA reported that for this survey, responses were wide-ranging and encouraging, and covered businesses such as accommodation sectors, restaurants, diving centres, tourist attractions, transport, tour operators, destination management companies, travel agencies, real estate services and tourism consultancy firms. 

Through the findings of this survey, GTA said it will be in a position to suggest and put forward proposals to the various competent authorities to tackle in a synergised effort the staffing issue plaguing the tourism sector.

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