Sinema Discusses Workforce Shortages with Arizona Travel & Tourism Organizations

Apr 21, 2023

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with representatives from Arizona travel and tourism organizations to discuss solutions to ongoing workforce challenges affecting the industries.
“Tourism and travel help fuel Arizona’s economy. That’s why we remain focused on identifying solutions addressing workforce shortages, creating strong careers, and growing a healthy Arizona economy,” said Sinema.
Arizona’s tourism industry is a significant economic driver for the state. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, in 2021 – still during the pandemic – 40.9 million people visited Arizona and spent $23.6 billion in the state. Representatives from various Arizona travel and tourism organizations attended the meeting – including members of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, Experience Scottsdale, Visit Mesa, Visit Phoenix, and more.
Sinema spoke about how the significant labor shortage is impacting their industries, and expressed support for the H-2B visa programs that would help ease these challenges. Last year, Sinema called on the Administration to release an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022 and more than 64,000 additional visas for fiscal year 2023. This action allowed Arizona employers who depend on seasonal workers to have necessary staffing levels for their peak seasons.
At the end of last year, Sinema partnered with Republican Senator Thom Tillis on a bipartisan proposal to reform the employment visa system to ensure our nation’s global competitiveness; fuel investments in Border Patrol Agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Officers; improve control of the border through increased enforcement, technology, resources, and more; modernize the asylum system; and establish a pathway for legal citizenship for roughly 2 million Dreamers who were brought to this country when they were children through no fault of their own.