HOTEL EMPLOYEES NOW have their own day, Sept. 1, thanks to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. AHLA had the date included in the National Day Calendar as part of its effort to increase recruitment of new hospitality workers.
National Hotel Employee Day will be celebrated annually to thank hotel employees for their hard work and dedication and recognize the role they play in the nation’s travel, tourism and hotel industries, according to AHLA. AHLA’s launching of the day is in response to the struggle U.S. hotels are facing to quickly fill more than 120,000 open hotel jobs by offering current and prospective employees higher wages, with better benefits, and more flexibility.
“On this inaugural National Hotel Employee Day, we thank America’s nearly two million hotel employees. Every day in communities across the nation, hotel employees’ service and dedication help facilitate some of Americans’ most important life events – from wedding receptions to family reunions and vacations,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO. “Now is the time to consider one of the more than 200 enriching careers in the hotel industry.”
According to a recent survey by the association, 97 percent of respondents indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 49 percent severely so. The most critical staffing need is housekeeping, with 58 percent ranking it as their biggest challenge. Strong summer travel demand is compounding the staffing shortage, and national average hotel wages have increased from $18.74 an hour before the pandemic to $22.25 an hour in May 2022. Also, hotel benefits and flexibility are improved.
“There has never been a better time to work in the hotel industry than right now,” Rogers said.
The hotel industry offers more than 200 different career paths and opportunities for upward mobility, according to AHLA, with 80 percent of entry-level workers eligible for a promotion in less than one year and 50 percent of hotel general managers having started in an entry-level position.
AHLA has section on its website for National Hotel Employee Day that provides tips on how to observe the day as well as graphics and other materials.