Hotels in U.S. Vacation Spots Can’t Fill Job Vacancies Ahead of Summer Travel Boom

With summer approaching, the U.S.’ travel season is looking to be one of the biggest with hotel bookings on the rise. However, employment in the hotel sector is still very low, with hotel owners citing slow approvals of international worker visas, pandemic health concerns, and even federal benefits for keeping staffers away. A large issue is that many people who worked in the industry before have turned to jobs in other sectors during the pandemic, such as retail, where they have the opportunity to find higher wages. Coastal towns in the US often rely on H-2B and J-1 worker visas to bring in labor from foreign countries for staffing during busy seasons, but the Trump administration severely limited these programs. While the Biden administration plans to increase the availability of these visas this summer, hotel owners say staff shortages at embassies around the world as well as travel restrictions will likely limit how effective the program can be at filling the large demand for these positions.

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