WORCESTER, Mass. - Guests are coming back to hotels in Worcester.

Numbers from September show the city’s hotels are fully booked 72% of the time. during the height of the pandemic, the number was about 20%. 

What You Need To Know

  • Discover Central Massachusetts Hospitality Job Fair is trying to help businesses find workers 
  • Things are getting back to normal at hotels and restaurants 
  • Niche Hospitality Group and AC Hotel Worcester are looking for 20 plus workers 
  • Discover Central Massachusetts says tourism was the third biggest industry in the state before the pandemic

“Things are finally picking up. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Mary Simone, AC Hotel Worcester's general manager, said. 

But as customers come back, the hospitality industry is looking for more staff to return.  Simone says she’s short about 20 workers and is helping drive the hotel shuttle herself.

“It’s been challenging," Simone said. "What we have learned is a lot of people have left the industry."

Niche Hospitality Group is looking to hire about 30 employees as business picks up at their restaurants.

“We are actively hiring to make sure staffing levels marching what the demand is which is a challenge," Nancy Defina, Niche Hospitality's human resources director, said.. "I think if you’ve seen restaurants that can’t be open seven days a week, or cut their lunch hours, we have had to do that in some markets just because of staffing."

It's a similar story for dozens of other hospitality employers at Wednesday’s Discover Central Massachusetts job fair.

“We are looking to try and rebuild back tourism as tourism as tourism was hurt so hard due to COVID, so we really felt that there was a need to help our small businesses look for employees," Monique Messier said.

Messier is the Executive Director of Discover Central Massachusetts. She says hotels across Worcester County are holding their own, reporting being full almost 60% of the time for the month of September.

The state as a whole is reporting hotels are full 50% of the time over the same time period.