There will be over one million indirect and direct tourism jobs in Portugal within ten years.
The forecast is from the World Travel and Tourism Council and tourism specialists from Oxford Economics who have estimated the economic impact and social relevance that tourism will play in different countries over the next decade.
The findings show that tourism now supports one in every five jobs in Portugal and suggest that within a decade, nearly one in four jobs will depend on tourism.
For Portugal, the WTTC estimates a total contribution from tourism to the Portuguese economy rising from 16.6% to 18.5% in terms of GDP. As for employment, tourism jobs will rise from 19.6% to 22.6% of the nation’s workers.
The total contribution of tourism is not limited to the direct impact of tourism in hotels, bars and restaurants, travel agencies and other leisure services directly fueled by tourist spending. The indirect impact that tourism has on other sectors of activity also must be added, starting with the thousands of suppliers that feed the tourism industry.
According to estimates by the WTTC, jobs supported by tourism will reach 441,000 direct jobs in tourism activities and 593,000 jobs indirectly funded by this tourist boom. Thus. some 1,034,000 tourism jobs are predicted by 2027, equivalent to 22.6% of the total employed population.
There are four European countries that depend more on tourism jobs than Portugal; Cyprus (26.5%), Croatia (27.3%), Greece (27.9%) and Malta (37.3%).
"We all know that human resources are a key part of tourism and must be valued," says Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, who explained to Expresso on Sunday how "this paradigm shift" should value people and their working conditions.
"It is for this reason that we are increasing the training tourism workers. This is one of the goals defined in the Tourism Strategy 2027 that we presented in March of this year where we defined a doubling of the level of secondary and post-secondary education in tourism from 10% to 60% in 10 years."
Godinho highlights the country's ability to create jobs in tourism, "Between 2011 and 2015, about 10% of tourism jobs were lost, but we have recovered these lost jobs and we are growing at the rate of 11%. Relief resulting from the reduction of VAT on catering was a determining factor, contrary to the criticism of many. Particularly important is the fact that this growth is throughout the year and not only in the traditional high season, promoting lasting labour relations," claimed Godinho who considers the WTTC's estimates as "very positive" and shows the tourism is important for the whole economy.