Tourism recovers pre-pandemic employment levels with 2.3 million affiliates in March | Economy

Tourists through the central streets of Madrid this Tuesday.
Tourists through the central streets of Madrid this Tuesday.JOHN BARBOSA

Tourism accelerates its recovery this year after the blow caused by the pandemic. Employment in the sector last March touched the level prior to the arrival of the coronavirus: the month closed with 2.3 million Social Security affiliates, which represent 99.4% of the registrations that were in the same period of 2019 , according to data published this Tuesday by Turespaña. The good progress of Holy Week, with hotel occupancy levels between 80% and 90% in the main tourist spots, suggests that this trend will intensify throughout April.

The good weather and the progressive fall in sanitary restrictions – which will culminate in the removal of indoor masks this Wednesday – have allowed one of the sectors hardest hit by the virus to breathe again, and recover the good data it set three years ago. years. In the month of March, the trend of uninterrupted year-on-year increase in the number of affiliates in tourism continued, which began in June last year. Salaried employment in tourism grew by 20.3%, while self-employment also grew by 1.8%.

“Last month we had a record level of indefinite contracts in the history of Spanish democracy, and the data at the end of this month will be much better,” said the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, who has once again justified these good data due to the push of the labor reform. Díaz has highlighted that “beyond” the war in Ukraine and the current context of uncertainty, the employment data continue to be “very positive”, despite the economic slowdown and “enormous inflation”, that “we must not forget that it impoverishes households.”

The consistency of the labor market in the throes of the pandemic and in the midst of an inflationary wave is proving “vigorous”, in the opinion of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto. “Even before a Holy Week that has been extraordinary, the affiliation in the sector stood at pre-pandemic levels in March and nearly 330,000 jobs have been created in tourist activities in the last year, which confirms the good times that it is experiencing. tourism,” he said. A healthy state that she attributes “to the protection shield for workers and companies deployed by the Government and the successful vaccination process.”

Widespread recovery

Hand in hand with a generalized recovery within the sector, the different branches that comprise it have seen their statistics increase: the hotel industry increased by 241,724 affiliates (165,301 in food and beverage services and 476,423 in accommodation services), while in travel agencies there was a rise of 2,356 workers.

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By province, all the communities experienced an improvement in the records referring to the hotel industry and travel agencies/tour operators as a whole, standing out above the others in variation in Andalusia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, the Canary Islands and the Community of Madrid. In relative terms, the interannual increases in the Balearic Islands (61.4%), Andalusia (22.9%), the Valencian Community (20.9%) and the Canary Islands (20.4%) stand out.

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