From Shortages to Solutions: Why Foreign Work Visas Hold the Key to Saving the Hospitality and Resort Industry

From Shortages to Solutions: Why Foreign Work Visas Hold the Key to Saving the Hospitality and Resort Industry featured image
The resort industry is a vital component of many local and national economies. However, the industry is facing significant challenges with the shortage of skilled labor, especially during peak seasons. To overcome these challenges, resort operators across the country are turning towards foreign work visas as a solution. This is a creative option for industries, such as hospitality, to meet their labor needs across various positions.
The resort industry has a variety of positions that are challenging to fill, ranging from housekeeping and food service to front desk jobs and landscaping. And in addition to recruiting retaining these workers can be challenging, especially during peak seasons. It is a problem that resort managers face year in and year out.

Due to a number of factors, the resort and hospitality industry is currently facing a significant shortage of labor. With high demand for labor in the US, businesses in this sector struggle to find qualified and motivated employees to fill crucial positions. This labor gap has had a noticeable impact on guests’ experiences, from delays in check-ins to insufficient staffing for housekeeping and maintenance. Many resort and hotel managers take on multiple roles to compensate for vacancies, leading to burnout and decreased quality of service. 

As the hospitality industry continues to rebound from the pandemic and its growth rate rises, the gap in labor will only continue to increase. It is critical to address this labor gap and invest in recruitment and retention strategies to ensure the best possible guest experience. Foreign work visas offer a creative solution to this problem.

Recruiting foreign seasonal workers may lead to resorts creating a more robust workforce that enables them to handle service demands those crucial peak seasons. The H-2B visa program is one that provides non-agricultural, seasonal workers. It can help to fill the labor gap during peak seasons for jobs like lifeguards or housekeeping staff. For jobs within that resort industry that need skilled, knowledgeable workers, the TN visa program is a great option. This non-immigrant visa program is for Mexican and Canadian candidates that have the proper degree and/or certifications (usually a college degree) that are needed for certain positions. This would be great to fill positions such as accountants, hotel managers, marketers, and engineers and allow for longer periods in the country for work. 

From Shortages to Solutions: Why Foreign Work Visas Hold the Key to Saving the Hospitality and Resort Industry

For management roles, such as HR managers or managers for spa and other guest activities, H-1B visas may be the solution. They aren’t seasonal visas, so it’s a more permanent solution to filling the essential leadership positions.

 According to industry studies, significant numbers of resort and hospitality workers come from overseas, and this trend is expected to continue. However, in cases where foreign workers are not available, resort establishments can benefit from the J-1 visa program. The program targets summer student workers from foreign countries who are willing to work in the US.

Other visas that are ideal for the resort industry include the L-1 visa. The L-1 visa is an intercompany transfer visa that could enable resorts to bring highly skilled foreign workers with them from their home countries.


The resort industry is a significant contributor to local economies. It is responsible for creating jobs and building vibrant communities. Nonetheless, it is not exempt from labor gaps, especially during peak seasons. To manage these gaps, resort operators, HR management, and CEOs must explore the possibilities of utilizing foreign work visas. These visas provide a substantial framework to bring in highly skilled foreign workers who will be essential for a thriving resort industry in the years to come. Implementing these visa programs can fill labor gaps and create a sturdy and diverse workforce that provides a great experience for guests and results in high-quality services.


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