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?
Marketing professional, speaker, lecturer and journalist in the field of Digital Tourism
The hospitality is, by definition, a “brick and mortar” business and it is still strongly identified as such. Today the shift to a “clicks and mortar” business is more than needed, from management, processes, marketing and sales, to survive in a market where competitors are more and more cross-cutting, most of them were raised and born online, therefore they have a natural advantage. The OTA distribution approach to the digital ecosystem, on one hand, was the entry level to almost 20 years ago, but most of the hoteliers did not explore any further for many reasons: lack of knowledge, higher costs, lazyness, attitude, hostility... It still very often happens to hear hotel managers blaming the online as the source of their own ills.
This made the hospitality not a dream place to be for a digital marketer or an IT expert.
To answer here the main question, I think that the problem here is more due to a long lasting situation of unawareness of this industry than lack of proper education. I have the feeling that the hospitality should first of all explore new management model with more hybrid profiles. For instance, Hotel of any size should start building an in-house digital agency at its core, building and sharing knowledge internally, tracking activities... They should basically start thinking and acting as an ecommerce business (as it already is).
Successful and innovative management models will contaminate others and the best talents in digital will start looking at the hospitality as an attractive place to spend their career and invest their time.