Americans are starting to travel in even higher numbers than before the pandemic, but worker shortages are straining the ability of the hospitality industry to keep up.
So far, lawmakers’ actions to address this problem only amount to a drop in the bucket.
The Biden administration recently announced that it is issuing an additional 64,716 H2-B temporary foreign worker visas for 2023. This is in addition to the 66,000 H-2B visas typically available each year, making it the largest-ever supplemental visa increase.
It might sound like a lot. And it will certainly help the hospitality industry ahead of next summer’s peak season. But unfortunately, the total number of available visas does not come close to the estimated 1.5 million open jobs in the hospitality industry.
Filling positions remains a top concern among the nearly 20,000 members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). AAHOA members own 60 percent of all hotels in the U.S. and employ more than one million people, making them key contributors to local economies across the country.
Read the Full Op-Ed by AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake