Updated: Dec 20, 2020
In the late 80s, we listened to the vivid voice of telex messages to get the arrival lists.
In the 90s, we learned how to list down the passenger names with the flashing cursor on the blue screen. Who did not suffer from trying to keep internet connection alive? Dial-Up. Lost it. Wait. Dial-up again...
By the millennium, we discovered how easy it was to get an email for the long itineraries. A kind of hero saving us from handwriting, faxing and attaching white papers to each other.
Technology first improved our operational works, then sales models and the booking systems. But we learned everything on-the-job without proper training. The mind is curious;
1. Can tourism professionals keep up with changing technology?
2. Can we get ready without wasting years with the traditional “on-the-job training” practices?
3. Can we study on the critical learnings for tourism in 2021 and beyond?
4. Can tourism people take the action?
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”
CEO drives sales, Sales Director does the operation, and the Operation Manager escorts to the group.
I have experienced small tourism enterprises and holdings during over a decade of experiences. I observed the others well. It is unfortunate that neither technology nor teaching has been on priority. Post the pandemic- means after the huge cut-offs, the positions and the duties will change. Travel agencies might face another difficulty; who will manage everything, and how!
Let's make a rough calculation on the basic qualification required from a long-haul travel manager;
1. Practical thinking,
2. Problem-solving skill,
3. Effective bargaining strength,
4. Capacity to stay on alert until the tour ends, 7/24
5. Perfect customer management
6. And a nice profit % on the file.
Doesn't it sound we describe a kind of a hero?
An educational campaign should take off in every country.
It might be harsh to force the employees to get the “training on-the-job” in 2021 and beyond - while the technology would shift so quickly.
We need to head up to change our focus into the team quality rather than the quantity.
It needs the practical intellect to serve in tourism companies. I saw hundreds of sales and operation team who are ingenious, hard-worker and eager to learn. Brilliant young people!
Travel agencies need to project on a learning structure to recover the HR quality in tourism. This is not a luxurious action- this is critical! Not only the corporate entities but the widest part of the pyramid. The small and medium-sized companies should recognize the need for well-trained staff, more than ever.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
NTOs, associations, market influencers, tour operators and sector leaders should settle the consensus.
We need to grant consideration to the critical learnings for tourism, starting by today.
Travel traders are smart and courageous entrepreneurs. We can rise the tourist figures rapidly, and we can also set another huge mistake. But- the second lesson could be more challenging.