Critical labor shortages in hotels, restaurants could impact NC tourism over holiday weekend –

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Published: 2021-08-31 13:14:47
Updated: 2021-08-31 13:14:47
Posted August 31, 2021 1:14 p.m. EDT
By Ken Smith, WRAL anchor/reporter
As COVID-19 cases rise in our state, tourism could take a hit ahead of the long Labor Day holiday weekend.
On Tuesday afternoon the State Travel and Tourism Board met to discuss critical issues, such as the shortage of workers in the restaurant and hotel industry.
Reports show many people are still traveling and booking hotels; however, restaurants and hotels are having trouble attracting employees. Some companies have even gotten into bidding wars for employees at local temp agencies.
The industry as a whole is still down more than 30,000 hospitality jobs in North Carolina.
When it comes to vaccines, there’s a growing debate about whether the hospitality industry should mandate vaccines for all employees.
Restaurants and hotels can’t afford to lose even 4 or 5 employees who may refuse to get the vaccine.
“They’re already facing such a worker shortage, that is more than they want to absorb,” said Lynn Minges, President and CEO at NC Restaurant and Lodging Association.
However, now that the FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, Minges suspects more restaurants and hotels will begin mandating vaccines for all employees.
Another major issue brought up during the meeting was the interruption in the supply chain to ABC Stores, which is having a ripple effect on restaurants.
Lawmakers on the board said hey are working on figuring out solutions to these issues.
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