BANGOR — This past Labor Day weekend, Maine tourism was high. However, with countless tourists visiting Maine, staffing shortages continue to present challenges.
According to a recent poll by the Maine Tourism Association, 40% of members said business was better than a normal year, but it’s not the number of tourists impacting the economy, it’s the lack of one essential element– the staff.
“The storyline definitely continues to be what we have been seeing all year, and what we have been predicting all year, which is visitation has been great, it’s been up, it’s been where we needed it to be, but we are continually influenced by the labor shortage and the staff shortage,” said Cameron.
The poll showed that staffing shortages have caused 37% of respondents to lose revenue.
Local business owner Brian Langley from Union River Lobster Pot in Ellsworth said this tourism season has been the busiest yet.
“I’ve been in Maine since 1978 working in this industry full time, this is the busiest summer I’ve ever seen for people,” said Langley.
However, the Lobster Pot is also seeing its staff impacted by limited resources.
“Everyone has been running under staff all summer, that means people have opened up with less than a full contingency of staff to be able to serve the public how they would like,” said Langley.
Jason’s Pizza on Hammond Street in Bangor is also continuing to see staffing shortages.
“It’s still just an ongoing thing, a lot of people are leaving the restaurant industry for careers in other fields, and right now restaurants and food service are trying to entice people to come back to that field,” said Zachary Black, general manager at Jason’s Pizza.
However, there could be some hope on the horizon.
According to the poll by the Maine Tourism Association, 52% of respondents to the Maine Tourism Association poll are optimistic the fall season will be better than usual.