Travel & Hospitality
Travel & Tourism is an $8 trillion industry sector that represents 10% of global GDP and 20% of all global net jobs created in the past 10 years. It is an industry that, like many others, has been transformed by and forced to adapt to the integration of technology, especially when it comes to digital strategy and mobile devices.
Today’s consumer views his or her mobile device as ‘Central Command’ where all the tools one needs are at-hand. Consumers want to manage as much of their lives as possible through the device – airline, car and hotel bookings, check-in/check-out, restaurant reservations, transportation, retail purchases, exercise regimens and more. Disruptive tech companies offering consumers expanded freedom and choices are here to stay, and more innovation is coming.
Talent Opportunities & Challenges
The demand for talent to accommodate growth, plus the focus on diversity and inclusion, is driving hospitality companies to reach outside of the industry to identify the best executives for marketing, revenue management, operations, digital strategy, analytics, technology, C-Suite leadership and board level roles. A key challenge is accurately assessing such individuals in terms of the requisite background (experience, aptitude, cognitive skills, etc.) and cultural fit.
Since math regarding birth rates doesn’t lie, a labor shortage is expected and is not limited to the U.S. This will result in greater competition for talent, the need for increased efforts at retention to combat incessant turnover, and thoughtful communication and collaboration between what will undoubtedly be a multi-generational workforce. Companies need to be more diligent in assessing prospective employees as to skill set and cultural fit. Savvy organizations will make attraction, development and retention a priority.
Finally, while the full impact of AI and robotics is not imminent, it is a good time to be planful as to how such technology will impact the labor force. For example, what human roles will be re-deployed to better serve guests? What retraining will be required? What jobs will likely be lost? How will labor unions morph to accommodate this inevitable reality?