We continue to head in the right direction after the hospitality industry’s worst year in history.

We find ourselves in a travel boom with people anxious to get out and live their lives again. Meetings, conventions, vacations and sports tournaments are coming back.

Our hotel occupancies in Daviess County have improved and, are surpassing pre-covid numbers. Restaurants are full, bars are welcoming back customers. The demand in many cases is outpacing our industry’s ability to get employees back to work. Finding enough servers, cooks, housekeepers, maintenance staff, parks and recreation staff, and front desk agents is challenging and often impossible.

I want to thank you for showing the people in our hospitality and tourism industry some kindness and grace. Our tourism partners are short-staffed, but they are working around the clock to provide an extraordinary experience.

Simply put, there’s not enough service employees, which is resulting in longer waits at restaurants, slower hotel room turnover, and many other minor inconveniences. Our hospitality and tourism workers here in Daviess County have been amazing and have stepped up. We have general managers cleaning rooms and restaurant owners in the kitchen cooking meals and out busing tables. They are going above and beyond to get the job done. But the stress and pressure has taken a toll on many people.

Enjoy the freedom to travel again and as a reminder, the next time you are at a hotel, restaurant or attraction and things take a little longer than normal, be patient and kind. Our hospitality workers are the backbone of our industry. You can make an impact by continuing to show them kindness and grace.

Lifting others up, making your community and the world better is one of the most fulfilling things that you can ever do in your life.

Mark Calitri is president and CEO of the Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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