I recently was interviewed by a reporter who asked me if AAHOA Members were worried about a recession. The interview got me thinking: “What does the future hold?” “What does this mean for the labor shortage?” “What does that mean for developing trends?”
It was a thought-provoking question, as everybody is bullish at this point. But, the more I thought about it, the more I started reading articles on the subject to see how others in the hospitality industry were thinking about the answers to these questions.
What I discovered was most people were not as concerned as one might think. Hotels seem to be doing well, people are traveling, and people were tired of being stuck at home during COVID.
With everyone being in lockdown for so long, it turns out that people want to go find an experience, regardless of how much it costs. While this pertains to the leisure side of things – not business travel, per se – the forecast seems bright all the way around.
But, one problem remains that hotel owners are struggling with: labor shortages.
Hotel owners continue to be desperate for employees but, as an industry, we continue to look to the future, to new trends, and to technology.
So, what do these new trends mean for the labor shortage? This is the question people should be asking. Not whether hoteliers are worried about a recession. We need to look at the bigger picture.
Hotel owners are turning to technology – kiosks, pilot programs enhancing security, and improving and further integrating current technology.
Instead of wondering what problems the future might hold, this resilient industry is focusing on figuring out a solution. We are not going back to pre-pandemic times. Things simply are different now, and we need to adapt.
If someone were to ask me again if AAHOA Members are worried about a recession, I would tell them no. Not because we are simply remaining optimistic about what the future holds, but because we are actively working to influence what the future holds.
We are in a world that has bitcoin, cyberattacks, smart devices, and artificial intelligence – the list goes on. Surely, we can figure out a solution to the labor shortage.
AAHOA spent much of this fall meeting with lawmakers and politicians, helping AAHOA’s mission on the advocacy front – and helping them further understand the challenges hoteliers are facing when it comes to the labor shortage. When we work together with lawmakers to understand certain situations better and build relationships, the better our outcome will be when they go to make decisions.
Whether it is conversations around increasing SBA Loan Caps and disclosing loan default rates, creating a New H2-C visa to help with critical labor shortages, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), ensuring fairness in franchising, or forgiving EIDLs, AAHOA will continue to lead the way when it comes to securing a bright future.
With that being said, if someone were to ask me again if AAHOA Members are worried about a recession, I would tell them no. Not because we are simply remaining optimistic about what the future holds, but because we are actively working to influence what the future holds.