Taiwan hotels struggle with spike in demand amid manpower shortage

Taiwan hotels struggle with spike in demand amid manpower shortage

Firms in the tourism industry started seeing a boost in sales as soon as Taiwan welcomed the return of tourists in October last year, after it eased some of the world’s most stringent COVID-19 border curbs.

Travel agencies started to see an uptick in bookings when Taiwan announced its reopening two weeks prior to doing so.


But as much as the Lihpao Resort would like to make up for their losses over the past three years, they are limited by a shortage of manpower, a common problem faced by many such establishments.

According to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, up to 60 per cent of hotels across the island are struggling to find workers.

Honorary chairman of Taiwan Tourist Hotel Association, Mr Lai Cheng-I, said that on average, a hotel is short of labour by 30 per cent. Housekeeping departments are among the worst hit, lacking 70 per cent of labour.

“It’s very hard to recruit staff now, that’s why there are reports of some Taipei hotel managers who have to make the room beds themselves,” Mr Lai said.

Many workers were laid off at the height of the pandemic, when the hospitality industry across the world was impacted.

With most of these former employees having landed new jobs, many are reluctant to return to the hospitality industry.

The low pay and demanding work in the sector do not help.

To cope with the crunch, hotels are moving workers from other departments to help out temporarily.


Industry players said the problem could worsen if Taiwan reopens its border to mainland tourists.

This, especially since Chinese tourists used to account for the biggest source of visitors to Taiwan before the pandemic struck.