The US hotel industry is currently facing a severe staff shortage, despite historically high wages. According to industry surveys, more than 66% of US hotels continue to struggle to retain and attract staff. As a result, hoteliers are offering significant wage increases and benefits to attract and retain the right workers. Although the wage increases and the expansion of benefits are positive steps, staff shortages remain a challenge for hotels. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the industry has more than 70,000 unfilled positions and average hourly wages have risen to a record high of $23.91. Increases in wages and benefits are having a slow but positive impact on the workforce. AHLA leaders are urging lawmakers to act to address the situation. They are calling for various measures in the immigration rules, such as the introduction of an H-2B returning worker exemption, allowing asylum seekers to work, and extending the H-2A/H-2B labor certification period.

The United States is looking ahead to 2024 with optimism. According to the official forecast published by the International Trade Administration (ITA), growth is expected to continue for the rest of the decade. The ITA’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) forecasts 77.7 million visitors in 2024, an increase of 15.4% over the previous year. Further, the NTTO expects international visitor arrivals to the US to continue to increase in 2025 and 2026. Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Commerce, is pleased to announce that the number of visitors from around the world is expected to increase by 15% in 2024. This growth is supported by the US government, despite the economic challenges caused by the global pandemic, and is working to promote sustainable growth in the travel and tourism sector.