• Nancy Arsenault, Managing Partner

Tourism Talent May Be Permanently Lost

As we reflect back on the three months of Covid-19 permanently altering the tourism industry, it remains a mix of emotions, challenges and opportunities for the number of businesses I've spoken with recently. I'm struck by the resilience, passion and commitment of so many as we collectively strive to bring our contribution to local, provincial, and national economies.


Today's morning reach however really struck a chord. While we all knew we were facing an HR challenge pre-Covid, post-Covid could be worse! SKiFT today published an article titled Hospitality's Devastating Loss of Talent Should be Your Gain It cites five reasons why businesses should be looking to hiring unemployed tourism professionals.


1. Attention to detail

2. Ability to improvise and adapt

3. Empathy and anticipation

4. Pride and professionalism

5. Experience with diversity


This is all true and I really hope that businesses can retain and rehire as many staff/contractors as possible for travel will return and we need to be ready.


What can we learn from this current situation, even if you are uncertain about your business's future?

  1. Stay in touch with your staff, even if they are laid off or furloughed. Let them know where you are and your plans for recovery.

  2. Reassess your budget to determine when you could bring people back - full-time or part-time and share that with them; it may be enough to secure their return following the government wage subsidies.

  3. Consider temporary adjustments to wage and work options, with a set time limit, to get through these toughest times.

  4. Host a staff gathering, keep it low cost, informal - even a potluck as social restrictions allow.

  5. Engage your team in helping find solutions and plan for the future.

  6. Provide a good letter of reference, if they leave, so parting is on good terms, relationships are key in our industry.


Photo Source: Travel Alberta's SHiFT Tourism Training Program, March 2020.

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