Fáilte Ireland reveals €700k campaign to address tourism staff shortages

National awareness campaign to address staff shortages in tourism industry as recruitment and retention challenges impact recovery in sector.

Fáilte Ireland has today launched a new €700,000 national marketing campaign titled ‘Works for Me’ aimed at attracting more people, across all ages and demographics, to jobs in the tourism industry.

The national tourism body will unveil the multiplatform marketing campaign to representatives of the tourism industry at a special online briefing event later today (18 May) with more than 450 businesses and organisations in attendance.

“Tourism plays a critical part in creating sustainable local communities across regional and rural Ireland”

The campaign will target new demographics of potential staff, with a particular focus on retirees and parents who, according to Fáilte Ireland’s research, are seeking flexible working arrangements and patterns.

Pre-Covid tourism accounted for 260,000 jobs in Ireland and in some counties provided as many as one in five jobs.

People will power tourism sector’s recovery

Still from Failte Ireland campaign.

“Tourism plays a critical part in creating sustainable local communities across regional and rural Ireland,” said Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly. “It economically sustains infrastructure, businesses, natural environments, arts and culture but the immediate recruitment and skills challenges are inhibiting the sector’s recovery.”

“There are brilliant career opportunities available across the industry at the moment, and the launch of today’s campaign will help to drive awareness of the breadth and variety of roles, as well as the flexibility and progression they can offer potential candidates. Tourism is a critical part of the national economy and driving the sector’s future prosperity is a key strategic priority for Fáilte Ireland. We have a comprehensive programme in place to support the industry to address both their immediate recruitment challenges as well as ensuring the sector can attract the talent and skills it needs to grow and thrive into the future,” Kelly said.

Underpinned by Fáilte Ireland’s most comprehensive research to date on perceived barriers and motivating factors related to undertaking a career in the tourism industry, the new national campaign launched today will focus on targeting new demographics and amplify the specific advantages and benefits relevant to them.

Almost a third of employees say that having flexible working hours is one of the main reasons for working in tourism and hospitality. For those workers not looking for a job in the sector, almost 50% said they would consider a career in tourism and hospitality if they were offered a predictable working schedule that suits their work life balance.

Another key element of the awareness campaign is showcasing examples of employers who are successfully making tourism a rewarding and exciting workplace, and those professionals who are thriving in the industry.

To coincide with the upcoming summer season the campaign will run across national radio, print, online and social media. A national database of live opportunities in the tourism industry is available at tourismcareers.ie.

Busy summer season looms

Still from Failte Ireland campaign showing a woman welcoming guests to a hotel.

“The current staffing and skills shortage in tourism and hospitality is heightened as we head into the busy summer season, which is often the only time that is feasible for smaller businesses to operate,” explained Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Sector Development Jenny de Saulles.

“Fáilte Ireland is working closely with the industry on a range of initiatives to help businesses access a greater range of potential candidates, stand out in a competitive market and rebuild skills that have been lost during the pandemic. The campaign we have devised will be key to unlocking potential staff by showcasing how working in the industry suits a wide range of lifestyles. We know that many businesses across the sector have had good success in hiring these potential employees who are looking for flexibility.”

To help businesses leverage the campaign and strengthen their own recruitment activities , Fáilte Ireland has developed an extensive Tourism Careers industry toolkit which includes hiring tips from recruitment experts, bespoke digital assets, resources on expert interviewing and staff onboarding and more.  Access the Tourism careers Industry Toolkit here: https://supports.failteireland.ie/tourismcareerstoolkit/

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.