Alberta mountain towns looking to attract hospitality workers for tourist season

Mountain towns to the west of Calgary will be bustling with tourists this year. But how would you feel about working there?

More people will be needed to help handle a fresh flow of tourists in the mountains this spring and summer and the removal of COVID-19 restrictions will likely spark a boom in places like Banff.

However, the pandemic did leave behind a significant staffing shortage and a significant lack of staff in the hospitality sector.

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Director, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement at the Banff and Lake Louise Hospitality Association, Wanda Bogdane, says they’re excited to see a rush of visitors once again like the good old days. But if they can’t balance out the workers they lost, it could be all for naught. She says there are rare opportunities at every level now

“If you can’t have your operation in full force whether it’s on hours per day or days per week or full rooms on floors whatever that looks like it does impact revenue,” said Bogdane.

“But that comes of course on the heels of the fact that our industry really was decimated the last couple of years.”

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Bogdane says they just have to get the message out that the hospitality industry would be a great place to seek out a career.

More important work is also required to ensure there’s an adequate housing supply and good transportation options.

Staffing levels of course fell as well so the work began to attract people out west, says Bogdane.

Even with hotels and restaurants ready to accept the tourists – you may be out of luck if there’s nobody there to work the businesses.

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However, Bogdane says there are lots of opportunities and good reasons to move to the mountain towns.

“We’re seeing a new dialogue coming to the forefront in terms of folks wanting to come our way as they see the innovations, they see the work whether it’s waste reductions or transportation.

A recent funding announcement from the provincial and federal governments also earmarked some more cash to boost a bus link between Calgary and the mountains.

Bogdane adds that another big factor that will help is the funding for the bus link between Calgary and the mountain resort areas to bring in even more visitors and workers.

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