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.
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.