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Cancun Resorts Facing Staff Shortages – Should Travelers Worry?

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Many hotels and resorts in Cancun are struggling to man counters, restaurants, and other important services amid a significant staffing shortage as travel numbers continue to soar.

The summer vacation period is slowly kicking off, and many resorts in Cancun are projecting record occupancy rates of nearly 100%. Simultaneously, the Mexican Caribbean is desperately looking to fill 20,000 vacant posts, causing concern within the hospitality industry.

Aerial view of Cancun resorts and blue waters

With that in mind, here’s a recap on the staffing situation in Cancun and how it might affect travelers’ next Mexican Caribbean getaway:

Cancun Resorts Initiate Hiring Spree In Attempt To Fix Staffing Shortages

The number of travelers flocking to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean has been growing consistently over the past few years, making the sun-soaked region one of the most popular in the world.

A resort pool and white sand beach in Cancun

One area that hasn’t experienced a comparable surge is the workforce in Cancun’s hospitality industry, with resorts across the popular city struggling to hire enough employees.

The issue first appeared in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when swathes of workers were laid off. With pandemic-era woes now gone, many employees are opting for new employment opportunities in other better-paying industries, leaving a huge gap to be filled.

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The result: a deficit of over the hospitality industry 20,000 employees. From receptionists to housekeepers, Cancun’s massive resorts rely on a staff contingent to run complex operations to keep guest satisfaction high.

With Cancun’s resorts heading into a record-breaking summer season, there is growing concern that properties may not be able to provide the world-class service that they are known for. 

Member of housekeeping in a Cancun resort

Analysts have estimated that some resorts could see occupancy rates of nearly 100% this summer, especially in the city’s sought-after resort zone. Isla Mujeres, Costa Mujeres, and Puerto Morelos are also projecting occupancy rates of well over 80% this summer.

In order to deal with the upcoming travel surge, resorts will be concentrating shifts during peak travel times, such as during check-in and check-out. The goal, hotel managers say, is to ensure smooth operations and to avoid creating a stressful environment for guests.

Aerial shot of massive resorts in Cancun

However, travelers might encounter slower service or longer waiting times for things like housekeeping, room service, or dinner. Likewise, some resorts may have to limit amenities or cut down on non-essential services in order to meet record-breaking demand.

Although the staffing shortage is likely to continue throughout the summer, Cancun’s resorts have launched an ambitious hiring spree. The industry is organizing campaigns both online and on the streets to find qualified employees, offering perks and bonuses for those willing to take on the opportunity. 

A Cancun resort with a pool and greenery

Other Mexican Caribbean hot spots are also reporting similar hiring issues, such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

And with only a handful of qualified employees currently available, most resorts will be competing with each other for a limited number of staff.

A white-sand beach in Costa Mujeres with powdery sand and blue skies

Travelers staying at high-end resorts are less likely to notice any service issues, with pricier properties paying better salaries and thus being more lucrative for employees. On the other hand, smaller, more remote, and less costly properties are likely to be more affected over the summer.

Travelers can limit the effects on Cancun’s staffing struggles by traveling during June when occupancy rates are lower. They can also opt for quieter destinations with fewer guests, such as Quintana Roo’s lively capital city Chetumal

Interior view of a Cancun Airbnb with luxury decor

Another way to avoid busy resorts is by booking one of Cancun’s 10,000+ online vacation rentals, which are soaring in popularity. And with officials increasingly enacting better legislation, Airbnb-type accommodations are a great option to experience local culture.

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Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Maybe you should pay them all a fair or decent wage! Not just the ones at high end resorts...