Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education?
— 17 experts shared their view
Hospitality HR experts estimate there are 100,000 open IT and digital marketing positions in hospitality in North America alone. This labor shortage and lack of adequate investments jeopardize the introduction of the latest technology applications and best practices, curbs new implementations and stifles technology innovations in the industry. Is the lack of proper education - hospitality technology degrees and courses at hospitality schools, and professional development opportunities on hotel IT and digital marketing - the reason for this labor shortage and for the industry falling behind from a technology perspective? What's your take?
The challenge with labour in the hotel industry is turnover is high—reaching 73.8% in the U.S. in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hotel companies are therefore reluctant to invest in training. “What if we train them and they leave?” they worry. The bigger concern should be, “What if we don't train them and they stay?”
Many hotel marketers work their way up with no formal training in marketing. One day the word “marketing” is slapped onto your title and you must learn on the job. (That's how it worked for me.)
Today's hotel marketers must be creative and analytical, strategic and tactical. They must stay current on technology, trends and best practices and have an eye for good design and an ear for effective messaging. In short, they must excel with words, visuals and numbers.
Keeping those skills sharp requires training and upskilling. But college curriculum isn't always current or relevant to hotel marketing. A lot of learning must be self-directed, through customized training and mentoring from industry experts, attending conferences and webinars, and tapping in to the wealth of industry materials available online.
If marketers wish to reach the top of their field, they must commit to lifelong learning, and they need an employer that will support them along the way.