EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT POLICIES IN THE HOSPITALITY IN GREECE IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC CRISIS
Tourism Business Management, TEI of Athens, Greece
In the context of the international financial turmoil, Greece is experiencing a period of severe economic crisis with multiple effects affecting almost all sectors and sectors of the economy. Tourism, despite its positive sign in Greece long before the global economic crisis erupted, already had some pathogenic signs, with serious structural problems.
Such problems have gradually led to the loss of its competitive advantage in terms of value for money in relation to its main competitors, mainly those of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, which for the corresponding mass tourist product have much lower production costs and therefore more competitive prices.
It is also important to have an impact on employment, as many professions are directly and indirectly affected by tourism development, as it mobilizes a significant number of productive units to meet the demand created.
This survey explores the real effects of tourism on employment in the light of alternative employment policies (subsidy programs and incentives for hotel businesses) implemented in the wake of the economic crisis and the degree of satisfaction of hotel businesses with employment policies
Keywords: hospitality, employment, policy evaluation, tourism development
In Greece, tourism as a development parameter is positively appreciated, as the development of tourist figures in recent years is generally positive. At a time when the impact of the economic downturn is particularly negative in the labor market, the purpose of the study is to capture the characteristics of direct employment in the tourism sector, ie in those sectors where the main business activity is the supply of goods services that are the result of tourism demand.
Moreover, support for entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs is part of the necessary direction of adapting the Greek economy to a new development model in which tourism should play a more active role for the country's economic development.
This study examines the size and characteristics of direct (or tourist) employment. Given that hotels and similar accommodations are a key element of the tourist product, employment statistics are used in the industry as a means of capturing the characteristics of the labor market in the tourism sector as compared to the whole of domestic economic activity.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
The workforce or the economically active population is made up of employees and the unemployed, ie those who are actively engaged in the labor market either as workers or as jobseekers.
In developing countries, tourism's capacity to generate employment has been recognized as one of the most important benefits of this sector, taking into account both formal and informal employment (Sinclair, 1998).
Tourism is widely regarded as a diversified labor-intensive industry and therefore an efficient producer of a broad range of employment assessments (Telfer and Sharpley, 2008). In addition, tourism employs more women and young people than most industries as well as those with low educational attainment, promoting an integration and empowerment environment for vulnerable groups (UNDP, 2011). Moreover, due to low barriers to entry, tourism offers investment opportunities for entrepreneurs to create small-scale businesses and create jobs.
Despite the significant positive effects of tourism on job creation, economic growth and foreign currency receipts, this sector has not yet been added to the public policy debate (Hawkins and Mann, 2007, OECD, 2010). Thus, an important issue to be considered is to what extent the use of public intervention to promote tourism is justified. As pointed out by Winters et al. (2013), the justification for public intervention in tourism is mainly twofold.
The economic benefits of tourism are unlikely to be realized at a socially optimal level if investment is left exclusively in the private sector. Investment decisions are interconnected and the profitability of a particular investment is a function of other complementary investments. Without proper co-ordination between investors, the market will fail to reap the resources in the best possible way. For example, in a hotel, owners may not invest adequately in accommodation knowing that returning to their investment also depends on the investment decisions of restaurant owners and other local investors in leisure activities. Similarly, public investment in complementary infrastructure (such as roads, water and sanitation, public lighting) can also be hindered by a lack of co-ordination with private investment needed to create an adequate flow of visitors.
Public intervention in tourism is also justified by the prospect of poverty reduction, notably through job creation. There is currently a broad consensus on the potential of tourism to alleviate poverty, particularly in developing countries (Mitchell & Ashley, 2010). Many developing countries have truly natural, cultural and historical resources which, with proper coordination and planning, could be the core of a profitable and sustainable tourism industry, creating jobs and incomes for the local population.
The average employment rate in the European Union in 2011 was 64.3%. Between 2002 and 2008, there was a slight increase, followed by a slight downturn. The Netherlands has the highest employment rate (74.9%), while Greece is the lowest (55.6%). The difference between the highest and the lowest employment rate is 19.3 percentage points (National Institute of Labor and Human Resources NILHR, 2012). Greece has always been characterized by lower than average European employment rates for the whole and especially for women. Employment rates continued to rise until 2008 and have fallen strongly since then, especially between 2010 and 2011. Male employment rates in Greece up to 2010 were higher than the corresponding rates for men in the European Union but in 2011 they fall short of 4 percentage points (eurostat, 2012).
The impact of the economic crisis is evident in the reduction of employment rates in the Greek labor market. The downward trend in employment rates continues, reaching 51.7% in the second quarter of 2012. Prior to the crisis, the difference in total employment rates between the European Union and Greece was about 4 percentage points and has since widened to 12.6 percentage points in the second quarter of 2012 from the Community average (NILHR, 2012).
The main effect of the economic crisis in Greece is starting from the end of 2008 and has been steadily rising since then. Indeed, in 2008 there is an increase in employment of about 34,500 people (or + 0,8%), but in 2009 the trend is reversing dramatically. In 2009, employment decreased by 76,815 (-1.7%), in 2010 by 177,763 (-4%) and by 366.252 (-8.5%) in 2011. The shrinking of employment is accelerated by a long time from year 2009 onwards, in fact more than doubled each year.
Ιn 2013, unemployment in Greece is still high, with rates ranging from 27.9% 2 to the highest in the European Union. (With the European average unemployment rate in the 28 EU countries, it is 10.9%). Long-term unemployment has also risen rapidly (Figure 1). The unemployment rate remains particularly high among people aged up to 24 and among those in age groups 29-44, while women are the most affected (European Commission, 2013).
Source: EUROSTAT (1 October): Third Quarter 2013 http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-01102013-AP/EN/3-01102013-AP-EN.PDF
The impact of tourism on employment is clearly very high, especially in the tourist accommodation industry. The calculation of the total number of jobs (main and supplementary) is based on an estimate of the average occupancy per bed, which shows that the total number of jobs that the accommodation services sector could potentially offer during the summer period is 135.9 thousand , Respectively, the number of jobs in the rented rooms is estimated at around 729 thousand, resulting in total workstations being estimated at nearly 208 thousand.
A key Hypothesis of the research is whether the development of employment policies is considered appropriate, based on the international context of the economic crisis, and the degree to which the hotels of the Peloponnese in Greece are satisfied with the applied employment policies of hotel businesses. This is a quantitative survey using a structured questionnaire.
As a sampling method, the non-probabilistic method was used for the purpose of this research, namely the sample method. The questionnaires were or have been sent to the majority of companies that have joined OAED in the past five years, either to create or to keep jobs. Thus, out of the 150 enterprises to which a questionnaire was sent, the 123 respondents and the sample of the present investigation responded.
The assumptions made above were investigated by means of inductive statistical analysis methods. Parametric controls were performed as the results were clear and we did not need to perform non-parametric controls.
Initially, it was interesting to note that the largest share of the sample (67%) from enterprises that have been included in the employment policy programs concerned small enterprises employing 1-5 employees.
It is also very interesting that the majority of tour operators consider the employment policies that are relevant and particularly important and that such programs genuinely create incentives to create new jobs or to maintain them.
Despite the fact that most of the sample tourism companies consider existing employment policies to be significant, they consider that almost all of them (89%) believe that more targeted and targeted employment policies should be developed to support all tourism companies in due to the heterogeneity observed in the diffusion of tourist activity in the country and the high seasonality.
Statistical significance was found between satisfaction of tourism enterprises from their inclusion in employment incentives policies and the type of business (hotels or rented rooms). To investigate the case, it was examined whether the average of the scale of satisfaction of the policies employment with the type of business and the One-way Anova method was used. Although the assumption of the homogeneity of fluctuations is not violated (Levene's test: Sig. = 414, 05), the case is rejected because there is no statistically significant difference in the satisfaction of the respondents depending on the type of enterprise (Sig. = 635) 05).
There is also a statistically significant difference between the satisfaction of the tourism enterprises from their inclusion in employment policy programs and the number of employed in them. In order to investigate the case, it was examined whether the average of the satisfaction level of the employment policies in tourism differs according to the number of employees and one-way Anova method was used. Although the case of homogeneity of fluctuations is not breached (Levene's test: Sig. = 431> 05), the case is rejected because there is no statistically significant difference in the satisfaction of respondents according to the number of employees of the enterprise (Sig. >, 05).
Finally, there is a statistically significant difference between the satisfaction of the tourist enterprises by their inclusion in employment policy programs and the location of the enterprise. For the purpose of investigating this case, it was also examined whether the average of the satisfaction level was different from the employment policies according to the prefecture of each enterprise and the One-way Anova method was used. Although the case of homogeneity of fluctuations (Levene's test: Sig. = 608, 05) is not violated, the case is rejected because there is no statistically significant difference in the satisfaction of the respondents according to the prefecture in which the enterprise is located . =, 720>, 05).
This research focuses on assessing the implementation of active employment policy programs, which is a key issue for many countries, and the results recorded can be a useful tool for identifying and designing new actions and policies aimed at strengthening of employment through tourism and other productive sectors.
The key interest in the use of Active Employment Policies as a policy measure to combat unemployment in all sectors and sectors of the economy is mainly reflected in the money spent by EU countries and in the number or qualitative measurements of the participants - employment policies.
The study also helped to shape a picture of tourism businesses that are part of employment policy programs and to measure whether or not they are satisfied with the process, in order to draw useful conclusions about the factors that affect it.
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