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Tourism sector calls for urgent action over staff shortages

ÈÁËÁÓÓÁ ÊÏÓÌÏÓ ËÁÑÍÁÊÁ

The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek) urged the government on Thursday to take immediate action to solve all issues related to staff shortages in hotels, adding that, so far, hoteliers’ complaints in recent months have all fallen on deaf ears.

“The indications for 2022 are very encouraging,” Stek president Akis Vavlitis said in a joint statement with the Hoteliers Association (Pasyxe). “This could be the year of substantial recovery for the tourism industry after two very difficult years.

“However, under the current circumstances we will be forced to reduce all our operations as for most hotels it will be practically impossible to cope with the increased demand.”

Stek also called on the labour and finance ministries to clarify the rules regarding the employment of staff from third countries, as the association claimed they have never been properly addressed.

“It is clear that if no immediate and adequate measures are taken, Cyprus will find itself in a very difficult position compared to other countries that invested in the tourism sector,” the statement said.

“A downgraded touristic product will have a knock-on effect on the objective of enriching our offer and attract more visitors.”

Stek warned failure to act would be a serious blow to the economy that would take years to fully recover from.

“And that is not just a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also of the lack of attention given to our industry in general over the years.”

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