STAY

STAY Nov/Dec 2021

STAY Magazine is an independently owned trade publication created to share stories, data and pointed trends within Canada's hotel and accommodations industry.

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I was born into Canada's hospitality industry. My grandfather was a hotelier and restaurateur. He owned and operated hotels and restaurants in Vancouver, B.C., in the early and formative years of my life. His was the generation that understood the intimate and interdependent relationship between hotels and restaurants. More pointedly, he understood the relationship between hoteliers and restaurateurs as collaborators in what he always described as the most exciting business in the world. These days, from my vantage point, we are much more divided. We even argue over the identity of our broader industry: Are we hospitality? Are we tourism? Or are we merely businesses? I believe we run the risk of creating greater divisions between those who own and those who operate. But all is not lost. T o reflect on the present day is to feel and attempt to understand the anguish of labour-market pressure on the Canadian hotel sector. We've done studies, provided commen- tary and proposed solutions. But I'm not sure anyone has yet managed to gain enough perspective to understand the depth of the workforce crisis this industry is facing. And if we are being honest, this did not come as a surprise. Very much like climate change, we have all been witness to the slow depletion of one of our most essential and unrenewable re- sources—our people. This is not to paint an entire industry with the same brush. Many organizations and regions across Canada have done incredible work to recruit, retain and empower their talent. But we must consider human capital in our industry from a macro point of view. We have a problem. And it will not resolve itself. In late September I was fortunate to attend the Ontario Snow Resorts Associ- ation annual conference. I spoke to three groups of resort leaders from varied levels and regions to help them cope with the recurring labour challenges aff ecting them all. I couldn't come to the conference with a silver-bullet solution. I had no tricks or secret pools of talent they could rapidly tap into. Instead, I decided to help them develop their leadership practices in the hopes that they would build even more resilience—the strength and speed of their November December 2021 | staymagazine.ca | 43

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