The hotels and motels in the US are facing acute labour shortage and many have partially shut down operations. The motel owners, predominantly Gujarat-origin Patels who jointly have an annual turnover of more than $400 billion in the US, are looking for alternate business opportunities now. They are eyeing opportunities to invest in motels in India.
Gujaratis own 60 percent, or nearly 34,000 motels in the US, and employ 4.2 million people. However, post the Covid pandemic they are facing a huge shortage of staff. This is apparent from the fact that motels in the US currently have 90 percent job openings.
The hoteliers in the US have funds but expect the Gujarat government to present them with a roadmap about where to invest for best returns. The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) has held two meetings with Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi.
Besides the roadmap, AAHOA have expressed interest in sourcing their needs from Gujarat, which is one of the textile hubs of India.
The 34,000 motels in the US use bedsheets, pillows made in Bangladesh. Gujarat is a textile hub and there is a great opportunity for exports of these materials. Similarly, they source furniture from China and Vietnam. If a roadmap is drawn to promote textiles and furniture, the motels in the US can source them from India.
Besides these, book keeping, accounting, screening etc jobs, involving motel and hotel operations, can also be lucrative upon landing in the US