Perfect Storm in the Travel and Tourism Industry
Great Opportunities for Those Willing to Surf the Wave
“Our industry is in the perfect storm. When the biggest hotel chain in the world doesn’t own a single room we have to assume everything will change.”
Pablo Giraldez Quiroga, Vice President Human Resources, EMEA. Royal Caribbean Cruises
Hearing about a storm might be slightly unsettling coming from a Cruise Ship Operator but in this case, Pablo Giraldez Quiroga, VP of HR EMEA for Royal Caribbean Cruises was not talking about a weather phenomenon but rather the wave of change that the travel and tourism sector is experiencing. This wave of innovation and disruption will offer great opportunities for the apt surfer and will wash out the slow moving paddler. Speaking to a group of IE students at IE, Pablo closed his talk on insights into the industry with a clear call to action “We need global leaders, we need people like you”. So the question is are you ready to get your feet wet?
The tourism industry, the 3rd biggest industry (after petrol and food) is estimated to service 1.8 billion travellers until 2030. It has been one of the first industries to adopt the digital age with the rise of online booking 20 years ago. “But you have to stay on your feet” remarks Kevin Sigliano, Digital Innovation in the Travel Industry Program Director at IE. “Some sectors put the good ideas in a drawer, travel is not one of them, good ideas are a competitive advantage.” The panelist consisting of a range of industry professionals (see full list below) provided insights into what they are working on. And in fact, some of this sounds and looks straight out of a movie like the 3D holographic technology that NH Hotels has implemented at their NH Eurobuilding Hotel in Madrid.
Pablo Giraldez Quiroga, VP HR EMEA for Royal Caribbean Cruises
Others run counter to the “everything online” trend like Pangea’s 1’500m2 brick and mortar travel agency which provides an expert for every kind of trip you may think of. But look inside the futuristic Pangea Store in Madrid and you will see technology at every corner. David Hernández’s, founder of Pangea, shared that they are currently working on previewing some destinations and trips with Virtual Reality in the store.
Another industry shaping trend that was mentioned repeatedly was Big Data. For companies like Google, data is the key to their business model. Sandra Manresa, Head of Travel for Google shared their vision of the future of travel in a video and what role Google and its services will play. For hotels.com data is the key to their 20–30% yearly growth, Francisca Zanoguera, Analytics Director at hotels.com shared. It is, therefore, no surprise that “being analytical” was among the most important skills (see the full list of skills below) required to enter the industry. With all the talk on the big data trend, Felix Campano from Amadeus provided a more grounded view: “Big data is not changing the world, at least not yet”. He points to a very important challenge. Creating sustainable business models on Big Data that are not based on advertising is something which remains to be solved. So what is the best way to innovate in this constantly changing environment? Felix Campano believes there is only one way “Fail quickly, fail cheaply, and fail often”.
What it takes to surf the wave. A collection of Quotes, Skills, and Requirements for the industry mentioned by HR and industry experts during the second discussion panel:
- Geographical movability
- Open to new scenarios
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Be bold -> don’t expect someone to tell you what to do or not to do
- Analytical -> Know where to get the data, know how to organize the data and most importantly be able to derive insights from the data
- CLIENT ORIENTATION
- “We need you to be a Millennial, you were born with the internet and social media, this is your strength, help the companies see things from your point of you”
- “Hards Skills (the WHAT) is becoming less and less important and the Soft Skills (the HOW) is becoming more important”
- Ability to be self-managed
- Critical thinking
- For Startups: “We look for extreme behavior. When you say you like to run, have you done a marathon?”
- “We look for smart people who do things > Smart Doers”
- “Find your strength and develop an edge on it”
Text by Sven Siat, IE International MBA Candidate (2017).
For more articles on innovation in travel & hospitality check out Sven’s Blog on Medium.com
Careers in Tourism - Wed., January 25th, 2017
Event organized by Teresa González, Associate Director at IE Talent and Careers
Keynote: Present and future for professionals in the Tourism industry
Pablo Giraldez Quiroga (Linkedin), IE Alumnus and Vice President Human Resources, EMEA for Royal Caribbean Cruises
Panel Discussion : Market trends in the Tourism sector and their impact on recruitment
– Anna Kompaniyets (LinkedIn), IE Alumna and Global B2C Marketing Manager, CRM for NH Hotel Group
– Antonio López de Ávila (LinkedIn), IE Alumnus and Associate Professor at IE Business School
– David Hernández (LinkedIn), CEO and Founder of Pangea, The Travel Store
– Felix Campano (LinkedIn), Commercial Finance New Business Manager at Amadeus IT Group
Panel Discussion: Recruiting in Tourism. Current trends and tips from the experts
Moderator: Teresa González (LinkedIn), IE Alumna and Associate Director, Employer Relations Tourism & Hospitality at IE
– Begoña Trasancos (Linkedin), Human Resources Director Spain & Portugal. Amadeus
– Joe Haslam (LinkedIn), IE Alumnus and Chairman & Cofounder, Hot Hotels. Executive Director, Owners & Managers Program and Associate Professor at IE Business School
– Pablo Giraldez Quiroga (Linkedin), IE Alumnus and Vice President Human Resources, EMEA for Royal Caribbean Cruises
– Victoria López Suanzes (Linkedin), HR Global Manager at Meliá Hotels International