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Rebuilding the travel industry: Time to review our approach? Lindsay White, JIVARO

This new world of travel is changing, and it’s changing fast, as are the buying behaviours of travellers. Lindsay White, Managing Director of Aviation & Travel at JIVARO touches on some crucial recruiting factors to consider to be successful in the #ArrivalRevival.

This new world of travel is changing, and it’s changing fast, as are the buying behaviours of travellers. Lindsay White, Managing Director of Aviation & Travel at JIVARO touches on some crucial recruiting factors to consider to be successful in the #ArrivalRevival.

So how is the travel ‘rebuild’ going for you?

At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, the green shoots of recovery were everywhere.

International borders were re-opening, and there were increased enquiries from the corporate sector and the public to travel internationally in the New Year.

Of course, this got our hopes up. And then? Omicron, the worst flooding this country has seen for years and the most significant European war since WW2.

Great. One step forward, two steps back. But, as great Persian wisdom reminds us, “This too shall pass”.

The fact is that Omicron has done us a favour by essentially ending the pandemic sooner and more effectively than we could have done with vaccinations alone. And hopefully, the war will settle down at some point.

So, where are we right now? The #1 question on everyone’s mind is, of course, staffing.

What we see at JIVARO is a big increase in companies advertising for experienced travel industry professionals.

Yet, despite a general optimism that there would be a potential resurgence of travel professionals returning to the industry, we’re still not seeing anything close to it yet. Why?

Is there a shortage of labour? Is there a shortage of jobs? It’s not just that companies can’t find workers – workers can’t find the jobs they want.

On top of that, roles and responsibilities are changing and will continue to change into the future.

Right now, it’s an employees’ market! So, is it now more of “The Great Realignment” than “The Great Resignation” we’ve all heard about?

We’ll all have our various views on this topic, but I for one, am more of the belief that it’s the former.

I’m hearing more often these days that many of our colleagues who have left the business are still keen to return to the industry, but it’s all about timing and waiting until they believe there is more security than there has been over the last couple of years.

This won’t be new news to many, but the foray into another industry has in many cases given them pause for thought in respect of the salary that they are prepared to accept.

If you’re only prepared to pay the minimum or traditional salary for a travel consultant, you’ll be waiting a long time (or joining the back of the queue).

The resurgence of our industry is still a challenge and will be for some time to come.

Armed with the knowledge there are record openings amid the pandemic recovery across all industry types, many prospective employees are still potentially holding out for new careers, higher pay, better hours, more exciting and creative roles, and remote working.

Many businesses still insist on traditional experience, flexible schedules and “just showing up for work”.

But above all, what new ‘attributes’ should you be looking for with your employees of the future?

Undoubtedly the travel profession now demands the respective fees relative to the advice and consultancy it provides – and rightly so.

Many companies no longer want executives who are or have been experienced in the travel industry – they’re now looking for a fresh approach/new blood, and courting professionals from other industries (FMCG, Retail, Consulting firms and other non-travel related companies).

Is this the time when there could be a re-evaluation of employees and their skills rather than the traditional ‘task-driven’ Travel Consultants, or Account Managers but ‘skilled professional advisors’ who can bring a new dimension to the business?

Jivaro

Whether potential employers are leisure agents, TMCs, tour operators, airlines, or cruise operators, now is the time to really review and re-align what could be the right team & the right organisation for the future.

Our industry, like many others, will most likely have to change its model when it comes to hiring, otherwise, the original model may well be left behind.

It’s no longer as we all knew it pre-COVID, and it won’t be the same moving forward.

Yes – of course, many companies and organisations are searching for experienced professionals to fill the current gaps, but this is a real opportunity for the industry to ‘take stock’, re-evaluate & potentially realign their business, transform their organisation or structure, and consider a new style of an employee with the right attitude and different individual ‘skillset’.

Remember – skills can always be taught – attitude is natural and inherent.

To delve a little deeper into what JIVARO can do for you, contact lindsaywhite@jivaro.com.au or head to www.jivaro.com.au