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Hotel industry prepares for mass exodus as holiday travel ramps up

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With the stakes for stellar customer experiences at a high, hotels can’t risk losing employees - new data by Medallia shows nearly two-fifths (38%) of global hospitality workers are considering or plan to leave the industry by the end of the year.

Travel is on the horizon for the holidays, as flight reservations reach pre-pandemic levels and airlines update domestic schedules so Americans can make up for lost time at top destinations, including beach and ski resorts. But are hospitality workers in these destinations ready and able to keep up with the demand?

With the stakes for stellar customer experiences at a high, hotels can’t risk losing employees - new data by Medallia shows nearly two-fifths (38%) of global hospitality workers are considering or plan to leave the industry by the end of the year. Yet they also can’t keep staff unhappy, as negative employee experiences (and lack of staff) often translate into negative guest experiences (36% of American travelers say that when they have questions for a hotel, they expect a response within 5 minutes or less).

Medallia’s research uncovered some key findings for the current and upcoming travel season, such as:

  • Among those with 2021 December holiday plans, 35% of Northeasterners and 31% of Westerners say they are planning to travel
  • While 67% of workers report that their organization is experiencing increased guest activity since the return to travel, nearly half (48%) say their employers’ handling of it has been “Just OK”
  • 68% of U.S. hospitality workers say their organization is working with less staff now than they did prior to the pandemic.
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