A Deep Dive Into a Futureproof Tourism Industry – Accommodation providers
After the finalization of the NTG desk research and survey, semi-structured interviews were conducted in all partner countries to acquire additional in-depth understanding and insights into the future of digital, green and social skills from the perspective of people working in the tourism industry. Altogether, 264 interviews were conducted in the NTG key partner countries with senior managers, human resource managers, company owners, entrepreneurs, heads of department and other relevant respondents in all five tourism sectors under investigation. This blog focuses on the most important outcomes of the accommodation providers.
Online accommodation booking platforms and service providers require advanced digital skills; they are in fact technical companies where digital skills are part of the DNA. Apart from a general digital fluency, these companies require staff to be able to work with, for example, Guesty (Airbnb Property Management Software), Monday (team management software), and Wishbox (a guest experience management system, using smart automatic tools and wizards to accompany guests in their own language from initial booking until the check-out). As in the other sectors, digital skills need to go hand in hand with creativity as well as analytical and life-long learning skills.
To a certain extent, sustainability is seen as consumer-driven: when consumers indicate that sustainability is an important consideration for staying in an accommodation, businesses will automatically adapt. One large hotel chain (who wants to be a leader in this field) noted that social, environmental and ethical considerations are central to the buying preferences of the young generation, especially for those younger than 25 years old (Country Interview Report the Netherlands).
The main problem in this sector is finding staff in the first place; the next problem is retaining them. People do not want to work 24 hour shifts anymore, and several participants noted that there seems to be a growing lack of service and interpersonal skills: relating to other people outside of one’s own circle of friends, knowing how to have a conversation, understanding other people’s needs and providing service seem to be increasingly difficult for young people.
The future of digital, social and green skills
The Next Tourism Generation Alliance has conducted desk and field research on the future of digital, green and social skills in tourism. The outcomes have been collected in documented in research reports and visualized content. This output can be found on the research page. Furthermore, the most striking results from the interview reports can be found in attractive SlideShare presentations, please have a look to check out the quotes from the representatives from the tourism industry – Italy, UK, Hungary, Bulgary, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany.