1) The hotel and service industry will continue to expand globally
Hospitality will continue to be one of the most dynamic, career-rich and expanding sectors in the world. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) 2013 Economic Impact report, the international hotel industry is predicted to expand consistently over the next decade, with a significant impact on the economy.
• 8.7% of jobs globally are currently in the tourism and travel sector
• Jobs in this sector will reach over 337 million by 2023
• Tourism and travel are expected to grow by 4.4% annually (2013 – 2023)
The key word here is ‘global’. The market is global, hospitality brand’s portfolios are global and a greater emphasis will be placed on the ability of hospitality professionals to have global outlook, global experience, and multicultural communication skills.
How Les Roches is responding: In 2014, Les Roches launched the world’s first ever global degree program in hospitality management.
The Bachelor of Business Administration in Global Hospitality Management offers students the possibility of studying together with their classmates in three key tourism destinations around the world. With two professional internships abroad, the student can gain exposure and experience in up to five countries, by the time they graduate.
According to a survey conducted by TNS in 2013, 56% of recruiters from luxury hotels prefer to hire graduates who have studied and/or acquired their experience in more than one country; this new bachelor degree is designed to meet such demands.
2) Retaining and developing human capital will be increasingly important to recruiters
We can expect to see greater emphasis by hotel managers on talent retention strategies. With sector growth comes increased competition, and hotels will have to address high employee turnover rates that can affect quality of service and customer relationships, if they want to stay ahead of the game.
We can expect to see human resources managers increasingly innovative and imaginative in their recruiting efforts, so that job seekers build their career within one specific hotel brand.
How Les Roches is responding: Later on this month, Les Roches’ is launching a new MSc in Hospitality Leadership that will help create a generation of hospitality leaders who have the necessary expertise and the soft skills to retain and develop human capital.
3) E-reputation and the power of the Web
The rapid evolution of the Internet and the expansion of social media have significantly changed the relationship between the industry and the customer.
The e-reputation of a hotel is determined by customers through various social media platforms, including online travel forums and customer-led ranking sites.
In the US, in just one day, brands are mentioned 3.3 billion times in 2.4 million online conversations. According to a 2012 Luxury Trend report by a leading hotel chain, over 33% of the people surveyed consider comments on TripAdvisor to be of great importance in their selection of a luxury hotel.
We can expect to see the hotel sector investing heavily in new technologies, building an online social media strategy and employing social media and communication experts as core members of their teams.
How Les Roches is responding: Fundamental marketing and digital communication principles are built into Les Roches curricula. All students are trained to consider these aspects in the management of a hotel.
4) Greater emphasis on sustainable development
Eco-responsible practices have become the norm instead of the exception. Sustainable development is increasingly being recognized for its financial advantages, too.
A TripAdvisor study found that nearly 62% of clients expect their hotels to be environmentally conscious, and 84% do not believe that comfort and luxury need to suffer as a result. Of those surveyed, 17% were prepared to pay higher rates for hotels which are environmentally responsible.
This specialization enables students to pursue greater expertise on the social and environmental aspects of the international hospitality industry and consider strategies for integrating them into their work practices.
5) A growing health and well-being sector
According to a Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, the wellness sector is expected to grow by 9.9% annually over the next 5 years, which represents US$ 678.5 billion by 2017, or 16% of worldwide tourism revenue.
Europe and North American together dominate this sector, the top 5 destinations being the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Austria.
The wellness industry has grown so rapidly in recent years that it there is an urgent demand for professionals who are specifically trained to meet the exacting demands of the customer and keep up with the pace of this evolving sector.
How Les Roches is responding: In 2014, Les Roches will launch the Well-being specialization. It is partnering with leaders in the field to train students in this relatively new, exciting area.