Iago Negueruela at the conference in Madrid on Monday. | Europa Press

Balearic tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, argues that hoteliers need policies for maintaining staff loyalty in order to address shortages of qualified employees, as was the case this summer.

Speaking at the Europa Press Tourism Conference in Madrid, Negueruela (who is also the employment minister) stressed the importance of training in guaranteeing a future for hotel employees.

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"The great challenge" facing the Balearic tourism sector, he emphasised, is the retention of personnel. Problems with staffing over the summer were "the first time that our companies have faced the challenge of retaining workers". The sector, he stated, must undergo a process of "industrialisation" to be reflected in "an improvement in the training of the working class and to ensure that employees see that they have a professional career in these companies".

There must also be "strong labour agreements" in order to achieve real staff loyalty. "Companies will be more competitive, the more they manage to retain their workers." Negueruela noted that hoteliers have needed to renew up to 30% of their workforces because employees have looked elsewhere. "That represents a huge capital loss, because you have to retrain all the new workers."

With regard to labour agreements, both Negueruela and President Armengol have called for significant pay increases. Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement are to be held shortly, with new pay levels due to take effect from the start of April 2023.