For the tourism and hospitality industry, attracting workers is one of the most significant barriers coming out of the pandemic. Re-attracting a workforce that was displaced by pandemic restrictions and closures is a key priority for the tourism sector. Some workers are still hesitant to return, and even if they do return, businesses are being challenged to re-staff quickly enough to meet pent up demand for travel and dining out.
During the height of the pandemic, total labour force loss reached 4.9% across Manitoba with about 2.7% of that job loss occurring in the tourism industry. Recognizing the impact the tourism workforce has on travel and tourism, Travel Manitoba launched a campaign to address the issue and build a positive narrative around careers in tourism and hospitality.
To develop the campaign, Travel Manitoba teamed up with the Manitoba Tourism Education Council, (MTEC), the Manitoba Hotel Association (MHA) and the Manitoba Restaurant & Foodservices Association, (MRFA). The campaign targets the immediate need in the hotel and restaurant industry and drives viewers to the MTEC Job Board.
Key themes for the recruitment campaign focused on the opportunities for advancement within the industry, the camaraderie and team atmosphere, and focused on encouraging people to join the industry now as pent-up demand for travel fueled growth and opportunity.
Objectives of the campaign are to:
Travel Manitoba interviewed numerous industry leaders working at tourism associations, restaurants and hotels and selected five to share in their own words what they enjoy and appreciate about their jobs and the industry. Using these interviews, Travel Manitoba produced videos, print ads, display ads and social media ads and published them on TV and streaming networks, local urban and rural newspapers, with Google’s ad display network and on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The campaign first launched on May 17 and initially ran for four weeks. Due to the initial success of the campaign, Travel Manitoba extended its run until the end of August. While the campaign is still running, to date* 119 job applications have been successfully submitted through the MTEC Job Board.
Results to date* show that digital advertising of the campaign has garnered:
While the campaign proved successful, Travel Manitoba recognizes the need to encourage enrollment in tourism and hospitality programs in order to ensure the long-term success of the industry. A second phase of the campaign will focus on this aspect.
*August 11, 2022.