Speakers at the conference on Tuesday. | Jaume Morey

On Tuesday, a conference entitled New Age Tourism was held at the University of the Balearic Islands. The conference was about changes taking place in the human capital of the tourism sector in the Balearics and other holiday destinations, and a conclusion was that key to the summer season in 2023 will be finding staff.

Jaume Monserrat, president of Palma-based tourism technology company Turistec, said that "we are facing a paradigm shift" in which employees have higher expectations. Alba Garberi of Turijobs, a company that specialises in recruitment in the hospitality sector, stressed that "candidates now select us, which is why it is important to know our teams well and offer them what can motivate them the most".

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This summer there was a lack of qualified personnel, a factor in this having been affordable accommodation for employees who come from the mainland. The Balearic government, the Council of Mallorca and employers all agree on the necessity to facilitate access to accommodation. But this can be easier said than done.

Another issue is pay. Negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement to cover hotels, restaurants and nightlife are scheduled to start early in the New Year. Given statements from the hoteliers, unions are warning that a satisfactory agreement may not be in place by Easter and that there could be industrial action. The unions are looking for pay increases in line with inflation at the year end plus compensation for workers' efforts this year - around ten per cent therefore.