Marti Grimminck’s insight into the evolution of the tourism industry with a new generation waiting to take over
Marti Grimminck, CEO & Founder, International Connector attended ITB Berlin notably as a panellist for the presentation on Student Travel, part of the seventh consecutive Youth Travel Summit which saw governments, associations, destinations, providers and non- industry experts discussing the broader economic, political and societal impact of this US$100bn industry. While onsite, she revealed the findings of her company International Connector’s research into the impact of Millennial employees on tourism companies:
“For years, marketing headlines have been aimed at Millennials in an effort to attract fast- paced digital natives. Companies have fully embraced the connected traveller who uses new technologies, including sharing- economy apps. However, this focus on the consumer is not enough; not only has the consumer evolved, but the workforce has as well. To remain market leaders attracting top talent, companies need a new approach to both their business and their employees.
Today Millennials are taking on more management roles and changing workplace expectations. Companies are now citing unprecedented levels of turnover in younger employees as social and digital interactions drive youth to seek new workplace settings. Technological and communication habits are sparking intergenerational frustrations. In the last year, our company, International Connector, interviewed 18- 30 year olds (aka Millennials and Generation Z) worldwide to determine trends disrupting the workplace. Through an interactive, virtual process, we put the design into the hands of young employees to create their vision of the future of work. We discovered similar desired outcomes of youth in over 50 countries: Millennials seek a transparent relationship with superiors.
Most questioned the ‘superior’ concept and offered suggestions of how to empower employees on all levels. Moreover, many work policies seem archaic to youth, such as requiring set hours in the office. They argue that youth are always connected on their devices so that physical space is a limiting concept. There is also discontent with communication policies.
Outside the office, Millennials tend to communicate on social apps like Snapchat and Instagram. However, in the office, they are expected to forgo their normal communication tools. New perspectives like these are daunting for directors who came of age in a very different workplace. However, the future talent of the tourism industry will continue to evolve whether they embrace the changes or not.”