WHAT HOSPITALITY MAKES FOR SOCIETY
The hospitality sector is one of the key drivers of the European economy, both in terms of employment as well
as of direct contribution to the economy (close to 5% of GDP*). Indeed, the hospitality industry alone created
1,6 million new jobs between 2013 and 2016 taking its workforce from 10,3 million employees to 11,9 million,
while the number of enterprises raised from 1,82 to almost 2 million. Together with tourism, the hospitality
sector is the 3
largest socio-economic activity in the EU.
A sector providing jobs to the young: 20% are below 25 years
In the overall economy, the unemployment rate of people older than
25 years amounted to 6,8% in 2017, while youth (aged below 25 years)
unemployment was of 16,8% in the EU. Conversely, while in the overall
economy only 8,2% of the persons employed are aged below 25 years,
this figure in the hospitality industry amounts to 20,2%. This shows the
big potential of the sector in fighting youth unemployment.
Youth employment (< 25 years)
A key player for social inclusion: 30% are relatively unskilled
The hospitality sector plays an important role in social inclusion,
offering the first job experience for many young people. It also offers
jobs to relatively unskilled people, as 30,2% have a lower secondary
education or under, compared to 17,7% in the overall economy. Last,
but not least, the hospitality industry is also a sector being significant in
the employment of women. While in the overall economy 46% of people
employed are women, in the hospitality sector this figure rises to 54,1%.
Employment of relatively unskilled
A sector which employs 11,9 million workers in Europe
Hospitality is a particularly significant sector in terms of employment.
Hospitality businesses alone provide for 11.9 million jobs directly,
representing 80% of the total EU tourism workforce. It is composed
of 2 million enterprises, 90% of which being micro enterprises, among
which 200.000 hotels and almost 1 million restaurants and similar
Tourism employment (million workers)
Total tourism employment
A key enabler for growth in Europe: +35% turnover in 7 years
The European hospitality sector is a key contributor to growth in Europe.
Between 2009 and 2016, the European hospitality sector’s turnover
increased by more than 35%, reaching a total of 605 billion EUR in 2016.
Annual turnover in billion EUR
*all figures quoted are sourced from Eurostat
2019 EU elections
White Paper for Hospitality in Europe