Tourism job fairs to be held in response to labor shortage  

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the Philippine’s second busiest gateway. — BW FILE/MMPADILLO

JOB fairs focusing on the hospitality sector will be held in some of the country’s urban centers to address labor shortage as the tourism industry recovers and is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in two years.     

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Wednesday said it is partnering with the Tourism department and local governments to set up the fairs that will benefit both job seekers and establishments in need of workers.  

“It will be a series of job fairs to be held in various cities and provinces with initial focus in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao,” Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma said in a statement on Wednesday.   

“What we’re about to undertake aims to support the government’s economic recovery program by providing a platform for job seekers for job opportunities in various tourism sectors and allied services,” he said.  

Tourism stakeholders told the two agencies that hotel establishments in the country lack manpower, he added.  

Industry experts have said that tourism is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024.  

“We consulted our members, we also talked to some experts, reports coming from United Nations World Tourism Organization, and many of them are really looking at 2024 as the year that we can go back to pre-pandemic levels. So, the next year and a half will be crucial,” Philippine Hotel Owners Association Executive Director Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. said in an interview with BusinessWorld Live on One News television in June.  

The Tourism department said over a million workers in the industry were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. — John Victor D. Ordoñez