Gen Y travel staff get on due to digital skills but not loyal

Gen Y travel staff get on due to digital skills but not loyal

A study for the World Tourism Forum (WTF) has found pay levels and promotion prospects are the top priorities for younger generation staff, not loyalty and commitment to their company.

The findings came from a study carried out by accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCooper for the WTF into how newcomers rate their chances of getting on in the industry.

The international survey was conducted out with more than 1,000 20-to-33-year-old (generation Y) tourism students and staff ahead of this week’s 2013 WTF in Lucerne.

The main findings were:


  • Tourism students have higher career expectations than non-student job starters;

  • Generation Y loyalty is to the job – not to the employer;

  • Career promotion and pay prospects are the key factors when choosing an employer;

  • The perfect director should be one who assumes a supporting and visionary coaching role, rather than one who pre-determines and dictates;

  • Today’s young generation staff expect regular employer feedback to enhance further development and as a sign of employer recognition.

Charles Donkor, PwC partner, human capital consulting, said: “The results show that companies in the tourism industry must modify their management of Generation Y if they wish to achieve success in the tourism industry, attract motivated young staff and keep them long-term.”

James Hyde (pictured), managing partner of Korn/Ferry Leisure & Hospitality Practice, EMEA, added: “Employers are improving their fusion of tomorrow’s leaders with experienced managers. Younger high fliers are breaking into senior management positions through their digital skills and customer insight, but this is happening too slowly.”

The findings were discussed at the WTF conference by a top level panel of experts who debated how to make the tourism industry more attractive for next generation staff.

The debate was followed by an address by Professor Wolfgang Jenewein, director executive MBA and director of the centre for customer insight at the University of St Gallen.

As a result the forum created a working group to come up with a plan of action for making the tourism industry more attractive for younger generation recruits and retaining them in.

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