The tourism industry – does it have a moral duty?
The tourism industry is experiencing change where newcomers are concerned. Things are not going too well in this sector with regard to employer branding. As is well known, it is plagued by a skills shortage and the increasing challenge of finding newcomers. The reasons are manifold. Compared with other industries salaries are low, while working hours are demanding, particularly in the hospitality sector. The pandemic made the problems even worse. Large swathes of the industry lay idle for months. Many people reassessed their future and turned their back on the industry in order to try their luck in other areas of the economy. And among the members of Gen Z especially a growing demand for a work-life balance and leisure time and has emerged. Not least, the travel industry inherently experiences large seasonal fluctuations which do not necessarily suit everyone.
Companies are now attempting to stem the tide and are adapting to the situation. In some cases they are introducing a four-day week with no pay reductions, or offering more flexible working hours, perks such as gym subscriptions, or are paying for tattoos, as is currently the case with the Ruby hotel chain. Others in turn are offering the lure of profit sharing or are passing on their state-allocated tax-free inflation bonus directly to their workers. Industry associations have appealed to policymakers to reduce the bureaucratic obstacles to recruiting foreign staff to enable them to obtain much sought-after employees.
For the younger generation in particular this is usually not enough. In addition to monetary incentives, they above all desire personal recognition, ways to express themselves individually, an open-minded, constructive corporate culture, and want their efforts to possess a deeper meaning. This is precisely where the latest episode of the ITB Berlin Travel Hero Podcast comes in. In it, we set up a blind date with Lea Pflug, a scientific assistant at Ostfalia Hochschule, and Hans-Ingo Biehl, managing director of the business travel association VDR, in their respective roles as representatives of Gen Z and the baby boomer generation. The pair exchange ideas on work formats and share their wide-ranging points of view and experiences on this subject. In a world in which work models and attitudes are constantly in flux, this dialogue format offers an opportunity to gain valuable insights, learn from each other and engage in a wide-ranging discussion on today’s work environment and that of the future.