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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article26 July 2018European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Europe offers tourism job opportunities all year round

Are you looking for a job? Do you want to travel and discover new places? Then the tourism/hospitality sector just might be for you!But where are the best places to work, and can you find jobs any time of year?

Europe offers tourism job opportunities all year round

There are many tourism opportunities across the EU, from coastal and mountain destinations to popular cities. The sector supports 25 million jobs directly and indirectly in Europe. It’s the largest employer of young people, migrants, part-time workers and women, as pointed out by the European Commission and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Requiring varying degrees of skills, tourism offers such workers a quick entry and/or re-entry route into the workforce.

According to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, Europe (both the 28 EU Member States and destinations beyond the EU) recorded an 8 % increase in international tourist arrivals to the end of August 2017, year-on-year. The European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends report also found that, for EU tourism destinations, growth was strongest in Southern Europe, which saw a 12 % increase in international tourist arrivals in the same period.

According to the report, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia saw double-digit growth in international tourist arrivals (to the end of August, year-on-year). Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain also registered strong growth. These countries were in the spotlight in February 2017 at a European Job Day event. Seize the Summer with EURES 2017 put jobseekers from all Member States and EEA countries in touch with employers from southern Europe looking for motivated staff with diversified language skills and different backgrounds. The online event focused exclusively on tourism, hotel and catering employers based in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Check out Online job day sends French tour guide to Portuguese islands to find out how the event helped one Portuguese tour company, TuriAzores, and a French jobseeker, Laura Combrié.

Bright prospects for tourism jobs all year

Several countries across Southern Europe, including Greece and Spain, are increasingly focusing on new areas to transform the traditional “sun & beach” tourist product into diverse products centred around various themes.

These include:

  • city break tourism;
  • cultural tourism;
  • medical tourism;
  • wellness;
  • romance;
  • adventure or luxury tourism;
  • conferences, meetings and events tourism.

Thanks to such initiatives, the employment prospects look bright in the tourism sector, particularly for those seeking year-round opportunities.

Jobseekers can also find opportunities in winter in locations such as Finland’s Lapland. The region was highlighted by EURES at an online recruitment event in September 2017. Another option could be Iceland, which saw significant growth in international tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2017 (year-on-year), according to a quarterly insights report produced for the European Travel Commission (ETC) by Tourism Economics (an Oxford Economics Company). European Tourism in 2017: Trends & Prospects (Q3/2017) showed that Iceland was the fastest growing destination for American travellers and was also popular among Italian tourists.

Foreign arrivals could mean more opportunities for Europeans with language skills

Foreign language skills – in addition to English – could be useful for your job search in the tourism/hospitality sector. Europe is increasingly popular among Chinese and Indian visitors. According to the ETC report, there has also been a rebound recently in Russian tourist arrivals. The same report also showed that Chinese outbound travel continued to boost visitor arrivals across all European destinations. “Tourism demand from this market [China] has been aided by encouraging economic conditions and the unprecedented expansion of its middle-class,” the report said. It also noted that Serbia was the top growth destination for Chinese tourists in both arrivals and overnights.

Demand for European travel from India was also strong, with an estimated increase of 14 % in tourist arrivals from this country. For Indian tourists, Croatia was the most popular destination in terms of arrivals (based on data until September 2017). “Over time the country [India] will become increasingly more important as a source market for European destinations,” the report said.

Recognising China’s growing importance for Europe’s tourism sector, the Commission will organise the EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) in 2018, together with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTY).

To find a tourism/hospitality job, you can use EURES to:


Related links:

The European Commission

International Labour Organization (ILO).

European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends

Seize the Summer with EURES 2017

Online job day sends French tour guide to Portuguese islands

Finland’s Lapland

Online recruitment event

European Tourism in 2017: Trends & Prospects (Q3/2017)

China’s growing importance


Traineeship, internship, apprenticeship – which one is for you?

Skills passport


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