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Protect Your Fall Meetings Against Low Hotel Staffing Levels

It’s expected to be a long time before most properties are staffed like they were before the pandemic.

Meeting professionals have one more thing to worry about as they get back to meeting this fall: staffing levels. Based on the results of a May 12-14 member survey, the American Hotel & Motel Association is reporting that two out of three hotels are currently operating with less than half the staff they had pre-COVID-19, and many don’t expect to return to normal levels until at least 2021.

The survey, which received responses from more than 900 AHMA members, revealed that 84 percent of hotels have laid off or furloughed workers, and as of mid-May, only 37 percent have been able to bring back any of those workers.

Meeting professionals will need to carefully spell out specific staffing in their hotel contracts for meetings planned through 2021. According to the survey results, 20 percent of respondents expect to be back to pre-pandemic staffing levels by June 30; 28 percent by August 31; and another 14 percent by December 31. The rest—38 percent—don’t see full staffing until some point in 2021.

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