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There aren’t many of us who thrive on change. We tend to dig in our heels and resist anything that alters our comfort zones. But change is good – especially when it comes to the business of travel! These are 3 reasons to embrace change in the workplace and get on the fast track to success.
Travel trends are constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve figured out where the masses want to go, they flip to something else.
Group dynamics and demographics change as well. Five years ago, we could never have guessed that “bleisure” travel would be a booming business!
And of course, the way groups prefer to book travel has also changed. Convenience and ease of planning are top of mind, with many preferring to transact their travel business online.
Professional travel planners need to stay on top of the trends in an ever-changing landscape of travel.
However, changing the established office norms can come with growing pains. Let’s face it. People like to do things the way they’ve always been done. And mandating changes doesn’t help. Forcing people to do things differently will not ensure “buy-in.”
The goal is to encourage staff to embrace change in the workplace and keep your business bumping!
There’s been a big shift in traveler demographics since 2020 and the onset of the pandemic. Gen Z, formerly only a small percentage of travelers, now makes up 52% of the market.
Conversely, the number of older travelers has decreased as a result of inflation and concerns about health and safety.
Itineraries have changed as well. Gen Z and Millennials want unique, locally curated destination experiences, once-in-a-lifetime adventures, exciting nightlife, family and pet-friendly attractions, and Michelin-star dining.
Older travelers like Baby Boomers and Gen X seek easy-to-reach experiences that are cost-effective and relaxing.
If travel planners are doing business as they were 5 years ago, they might be missing out on some important growth opportunities.
While the kinds of travel experiences are changing, traveler expectations for how they experience them are also changing.
In the not-so-distant past, groups would reach out directly to a tour operator to plan a trip. Thanks to online platforms, travel websites, and tech-savvy consumers, those groups now research trips on their own or book directly.
While this can be disheartening, this new way of doing business is here to stay. Don’t grumble about it – embrace it!
Make the consumer experience as simple as possible by moving operations online, integrating registration and payment platforms, and making the most of communication apps.
And don’t think technology is just for the big dogs. There is a tech solution for every travel planning business, regardless of size.
Embracing change in the workplace helps keep you customer-focused and gives you a competitive edge over those who stick with the same old, same old. It encourages fresh ideas and new perspectives, improves operations and sales skills, and can even lead to better business opportunities.
As we mentioned earlier, change doesn’t happen without some discomfort. But when you foster a culture of respect and positivity, people typically respond. And there are some very simple ways to encourage your team to get on board.
Identify what works well in your organization and where the cracks are. Then focus on the fissures. Addressing change while keeping pieces of your operation intact really helps with the transition.
We don’t change something simply for the sake of change. So it’s important that you clearly communicate the reasons why your organization is adopting different practices.
Recent statistics showed that 80% of Americans agree that communication is the most important factor in inspiring trust between an employer and employees. And 85% of employees report feeling more motivated when provided with regular company updates.
This should not be a newsflash. After all, we all feel better when we know what’s happening rather than being left out in the cold. Communication is also essential when helping your team understand the company’s mission and vision, new roles and responsibilities, and how this change will address your tour company’s goals.
In short, regular communication is essential to buy-in.
Be sure that your plan for making modifications includes training and opportunities for professional growth.
Give your team the tools they need to be successful and foster a culture of continued learning.
Pro Tip: The Tourism Academy offers engaging and accessible education for the tourism and destination industries.
Change in the workplace is a team effort. It’s important to showcase not only the star performers but also those taking baby steps in the right direction.
Everyone wants to know they are valued and that their work contributes to the overall success of an organization. Reward and recognize all who are making the effort – wherever they are in the process!
In the world of travel and hospitality, change is inevitable. As a group travel planner, your job is to stay ahead of the curve. When you create a workplace environment that embraces new ideas, technology, and trends, you lay the foundation for a business that has no boundaries!
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