There has been a huge influx of American and Canadian tourists in Cancun in the first few months of the year and hotels have continued to be fully operational despite having staff shortages. In a recent union report a delegate pointed out that despite the shortages, all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya area have steadily maintained up to 90 percent occupancy, even after the busy season. Furthermore, the continued investment in the area by numerous big-name hotel brands is evidence of the confidence in the tourism industry in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Industry leaders have also pointed out that the shortage of workers is in the service sector, rather than in management, and these workers are just as important for smooth operation. Some officials feel that the main reason for this could have something to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. State leader of an important union in the area, Martín de la Cruz, pointed out that some workers left during the pandemic and haven’t come back.
The union leader stated that “many of those who work here come from other parts of the state, the country, and the world, and in the face of the pandemic they chose to go to their places of origin because this meant less expenses, such as rent or food. And not all of those who left returned, that is a reality that companies are now facing.”
Even with the pandemic winding down, the shortages in staff continues, not just in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, but in other countries as well. Multiple campaigns have been launched in recent months in and around Cancun to try to draw in new candidates for employment but the problem still continues to persist. Despite the issue, hotels in Cancun continue to welcome and satisfy guests looking for their ideal Caribbean vacation.
To combat the shortages and to continue to cater to foreign tourists the staff that is still employed with the area restaurants and hotels have been picking up the slack. Hotel and restaurant staff have to work longer hours, sometimes even working double shifts, and many can be found fulfilling multiple roles within the industry. The situation can only be maintained for so long, though, if Cancun continues to see the number of tourists coming in that they have seen throughout the beginning of the year.
In the first four months of the year, there were record numbers of visitors to Cancun and other areas of the Mexican Caribbean. Just during the Easter holiday alone, the Cancun Hotel Zone catered to more than a million visitors. For spring break and the Easter holiday, many of the tourists came from the United States and Canada, and while tourism from those countries has died down a bit, the state is now expecting an influx of English tourists throughout the Riviera Maya this summer.
According to president of a local industry association who reported on the ongoing shortage in April, Jesús Almaguer Salazar, some hotels in the area have a staff shortage as high as 15 percent. He pointed out that the shortage continues despite their efforts to recruit people by sending out caravans and offering training to those lacking experience. This has led to an increased workload for those currently employed in the hotel and restaurant sectors.
There are approximately 100 hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone and many of them continue to maintain high occupancy levels even with staff shortages being an issue. With the tourism industry stronger than ever they continue to bounce back from the pandemic in Cancun and the staff shortage is something they will bounce back from soon too.
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