Service professions are the be-all and end-all of the tourism industry - in the Global South as well as here in Germany. But in the post-Covid era, there is a shortage of skilled workers everywhere. What opportunities are there to increase interest in tourism jobs?

The shortage of skilled workers is currently hitting many sectors hard and is set to get worse. In Germany alone, around 7 million people will retire from the workforce by 2035. The baby boomers will leave a gap that the next generation will not be able to fill in terms of numbers. On the one hand.

On the other hand, service work in tourism has (become) unattractive in some cases. It is predominantly location-bound, requires presence and at peak times - if you combine the work of all those involved - a 24/7 commitment that is a far cry from working from home, New Work, Workation & Co. or even working on a laptop with a view of the sea.

We all know that: Without in-depth specialist knowledge at travel agencies or tour operators, without baggage handling at the airport, without bus drivers, without service staff in restaurants and hotels and other service providers, nothing works. Added to this is the lower wage level compared to other sectors and the uncertainty - sometimes high season, sometimes low season - of being able to generate a predictable year-round income.

The challenges of attracting new skilled workers are therefore very difficult. The question remains as to whether greater efficiency, artificial intelligence and advancing digitalization can offer a way out of the shortage of skilled workers. In the long term, will we be able to create exciting trips and look after travelers with fewer people (i.e. staff)? Which jobs can actually be replaced by automation and AI?

In order to approach the topic, we are inviting various experts to present their respective perspectives:

  • How are other destinations tackling the problem?
  • What do companies such as hoteliers or tour operators say about the situation?
  • What do sociologists say about how our society deals with foreigners?

Andreas Stopp, Journalist, Deutschlandfunk

Contributors and statements
André Kiwitz
Recruiting is a matter for the boss

Yusuf Hacisüleyman
External crises - transformation of the Turkish tourism labor market

Dr. Oliver Haas
Inviting instead of recruiting