The hotel and tourism sector, one of the main pillars of the Mauritian economy, is suffering from labour shortage, according to a survey by the Human Resource and Development Council, released Friday in Port Louis.
According to the survey, 73 per cent of the respondents said there was a qualified labour shortage in the island and 66 per cent estimated that the situation will get worse in the next five years.
Education and Human Resources Minister Vasant Bunwaree said it is important to identify means to enable the tourism sector, which is one of the main pillars of the island’s economy, to sustain its growth despite the global economic downturn.
Bunwaree said tourism is a fiercely competitive market and to survive the cut-throat competition, Mauritius has been trying to diversify its tourism products by tapping into niche markets such as medical and health tourism, eco-tourism and business tourism.
He expressed the belief that education and training are the key pillars for an economic recovery, and that effective human resources planning must be tied to the needs of the business now and in the future by enhancing and improving the skills of the Mauritian workforce.
”It is estimated that one job in the core tourism industry creates about one and a half additional jobs in tourism-related industry,” he said.
The industry generated about 38,000 direct jobs for a wide range of skills at all levels. Directly or indirectly, there were around 57,000 people involved in the country’s tourism sector.
The most sought-after jobs in the tourism sector presently are: waiter, cook/assistant cook, maid/valet, fast food operator, cleaners, housekeeper, receptionist, butler, barman, and guide.
According to official statistics, the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP of the island was 7 per cent in 2011 and it registered a 3.2 per cent growth in arrivals to reach 954,000, compared to 935,000 in 2010.