Historic records in tourism means more workers than ever on Costa del Sol 

by Lorraine Williamson
tourism workers

Historic records in overnight stays and tourist arrivals at Málaga airport also translated into record employment in the tourism sector on the Costa del Sol. According to data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), the number of tourism workers reached almost 130,000 in the second quarter of this year. 

Among other things, these employees are engaged in welcoming travellers in hotels, serving customers in restaurants, managing car rentals or arranging trips and transporting visitors from one tourist spot to another. The figure shows an upward trend, surpassing the second quarter of the best year in the history of this tourist area. That was in 2019, when 3,000 fewer people were employed in the tourism sector in the popular holiday region. 

Tourism workers segments

The data, collected in the latest Tourism Employment Barometer on the Costa del Sol, suggest that the hospitality industry is driving this employment generation. Bars and restaurants account for almost 75% of tourism workers, compared to less than 70% before the pandemic. This is followed by the accommodation sector that employs more than 25,500 people, transport with 18,093, leisure activities with 14,310 and car rental, travel agencies and tour operators with almost 5,000 employees.  

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While all segments show strong growth compared to the same period last year, the increase of almost 11% in tourist transport is remarkable. As in other sectors, entrepreneurs are facing labour shortages. This remains one of the main problems hampering further progress. 

The latest scan of tourism employment on the Costa del Sol shows that 75% of workers work in restaurants, bars and beach bars. Eight in 10 workers are Spanish, 4% more than in the same period of 2019, and the number of salaried workers is also growing, now standing at 86.8%. Noteworthy is the almost 7% increase in the number of professionals working full time. 

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