‘Perfect storm’: Staff shortages threaten Top End tourist season

This dry season has the potential to attract a record number of sunshine-loving travellers to Darwin. But there’s not enough staff to help businesses cope with demand.

Standing in the gleaming lobby of the major Darwin hotel he manages, Markus Kaliss says this dry season has the potential to attract a record number of bookings for the venue – if only he could find enough staff.

“At the moment we’re not fully booked, but there’s already now days and weeks where we’re saying ‘you know what, that’s it, we don’t sell more because we can’t handle [it], unless we find staff’,” Mr Kaliss said.

“So we are now capping capacity, simply for staffing reasons.”

Mr Kaliss is not alone.

The pandemic has brought a challenging two years for businesses, and Mr Kalliss’s hotel is one of countless hotels, restaurants and bars across Australia struggling to meet demand due to staff shortages.

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