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Grey nomads needed by Australia's tourism industryo
Enjoy the sunset after your shift ... grey nomads needed at resorts

Calling all grey nomads. Aus­tralia’s tourism industry needs you!

The army of Big Lap travel­lers has been identified by the country’s top tourism official as the answer to a staffing crisis that is gripping the industry.

Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, declared that the time had come to seek the help of the grey nomad travelling commu­nity and tap into their knowl­edge, expertise and experience as they travel across the nation.

McEvoy told a gathering of tourism bigwigs in Canberra that a whopping 36,500 posi­tions remain unfilled in the tourism and hospitality in­dustries – roles that could be perfect for grey nomads.

Regional Australia in particular is suffering from an acute short­age of hotel, resort and res­taurant staff as youngsters shy away from service-based roles.

Industry leaders warned that the skills crisis could seriously damage tourism businesses, prompting McEvoy to proclaim it was Australia’s happy band of long-term travellers who could be the white knights.

“You see the grey nomads trav­elling around regional Australia and I believe there is a real opportunity to engage them in tourism employment around the country,” McEvoy said. “There are 36,500 job vacancies in the tourism and hospitality industry right now. There are just not the Australians to fill the jobs. But I believe older Australians, the grey nomads, could be gainfully used.”

Even idyllic spots like Hayman Island off the Queensland coast are struggling to attract staff. One government lobby group, the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), said the luxury Hayman Island Resort, which employs around 300 staff, has 70 or 80 vacancies at any one time, a situation that has the potential to wreck service levels.

“For that type of brand they need to provide fantastic service but they just can’t get Australians to do those hospi­tality jobs,” TTF chief executive Ken Morrison said. “How do you get world, first class service levels when you can’t get at­tract, or hold staff?”

Grey nomads are already highly sought after by many rural employers because they have a reputation for being reliable, honest, hard-working and experienced.

Now understaffed hotels, re­sorts, and tour operators appear ready to respond to McEvoy’s rallying cry … and turn to grey nomads to help them fill thou­sands of vacancies.

Would you wait tables at a re­sort to help finance your trip? Email us here to comment.

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