Survey: Hotel Staffing Shortages Persist

11 June 2024

Source: Survey: Hotel Staffing Shortages Persist, Chris Davis, Business Travel News, June 10, 2024


About three-quarters U.S. hoteliers surveyed in May by the American Hotel & Lodging Association reported they continue to face staffing shortages, a figure that declined a bit year over year but increased from a January survey.

Seventy-six percent of the 456 hoteliers surveyed May 16-24 by AHLA indicated they were short-staffed, down from 82 percent in May 2023 but up from 67 percent in January. About 13 percent of respondents in the most recent survey indicated they were “severely understaffed,” a level at which the shortage affects the hotel’s ability to operate.

To address the shortage, according to AHLA, “86 percent of respondents have increased wages, 52 percent have offered greater flexibility with hours, and 33 percent have expanded benefits to cope with the nationwide workforce shortage.” Still, 79 percent indicated they remain unable to fill open positions, and on average respondents said they were trying to fill seven positions per property.

“Strong summer travel demand and a nationwide workforce shortage have combined to create more pay, perks, and upward mobility for current and prospective hotel employees,” said AHLA interim president and CEO Kevin Carey in a statement. “But hotels need access to more workers to continue creating jobs.”

One week ago, however, a panel of the CEOs of some of the largest hotel companies said their hotels were staffed. Each CEO at New York University’s annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference last week—Marriott International’s Anthony Capuano, IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Elie Maalouf, Hilton Worldwide’s Christopher Nassetta, Hyatt Hotels Corp.’s Mark Hoplamazian and Accor’s Sébastien Bazin—agreed that staffing has at least returned, and in some cases have exceeded, pre-pandemic levels.

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