Over the course of the pandemic, many industries were forced to change and adapt – especially the tourism and hospitality sector. With many people stuck at home, travel came to a halt as soon as the world went into lockdown, making things extremely difficult for many businesses operating in this market.
But, now that restrictions are lifting and people are free to move, the travel industry is recovering. Now is the perfect time to consider studying tourism management, not only is the industry booming and looking for new graduates, but you’ll also learn plenty of skills that will be useful no matter which sector you enter.
How the pandemic changed the tourism and hospitality industry
The tourism industry was almost brought to a close by the pandemic, which restricted people from being able to travel. But the health crisis also brought about a variety of much-needed changes that are forcing the industry to update by adopting a more flexible and customer-focused approach.
Here are just some of the ways that the industry has changed over the course of the pandemic:
Customers are demanding more from companies
Now that people are coming out of lockdown, there’s even more of a demand for authentic and original experiences.
People want new and exciting ways to travel, from staying in Airbnb residences to booking fun adventurous excursions on their holidays. Hotels need to be more than just a place where people can relax after a long day; they need to be a memorable experience that offers unique experiences, outperforming customer expectations.
The rising influence of technology
Tourism is becoming more digital – a trend seen in the majority of industries for a few years now, with the pandemic having increased rates of digitalization for businesses in the tourism sector. Fast and efficient check-ins and check-outs are becoming the norm, as are contactless payments, digital menus and holiday booking apps.
Now that customers are becoming used to these digital changes, any business that doesn’t adopt them runs the risk of appearing outdated. However, just because things are moving onto phones and digital devices, doesn’t mean that the importance of human connection should be ignored. Finding a balance between the two ways of communicating is set to become essential for tourism businesses moving forward.
Businesses need to be sustainable
Finally, the last major way that the industry has been changed over the pandemic is through the push for more sustainable and environmentally friendly travel options.
People want to connect with nature, which has been seen in the rising popularity of sustainable retreats, rural destinations and a focus on supporting local businesses. The industry also predicts that more people will choose to explore nearby destinations, swapping air travel for cars which will lead to a global trend towards local tourism.
Should you study hospitality?
If there was ever a good time to start studying tourism management, it’s right now. The industry has changed so much during the past two years, and it’s only expected to keep growing.
Unlike many other industries, the tourism industry had a chance to press pause and reflect on how it worked over the pandemic, which has allowed it to make changes. Things are evolving at a rapid pace, and new graduates will be able to get their foot in the door of an innovative and exciting industry that is transforming on a daily basis.
Key areas that tourism graduates may focus on
A career in tourism management isn’t all about creating unique experiences and organising holidays for travellers, there are many skills and lots of knowledge that you may need to make yourself more employable.
Here are just some of the key areas that you might want to consider during your studies:
With different customer segments and changing communication channels, the need for planning in the tourism industry has never been more important. Operations are becoming a significant opportunity in the industry, so if you have great ideas for efficient processes, you’ll be entering into an industry that welcomes all your suggestions.
Hotels as we know them are changing quickly, and the traditional designs of the last decade are now not as functional as they used to be.
Physical concepts need to be rethought to cater to the change in customers. From remote workers who need co-working spaces in their hotels to families who want fun common areas for their children to enjoy – good hotel design should be able to cater to a variety of customers.
Health and safety
After the disruption caused by the pandemic, people want to feel safe in their surroundings, especially when they’re travelling. Having strict health and safety protocols, social distancing and available medical professionals are things that people are more likely to pay extra for in the future.
Sales and marketing
Traditional sales and marketing techniques are now not as useful as they previously were. It’s becoming less common for people to book their holidays via a travel agent, instead, they prefer to do so from their phones.
Social media marketing, search engine optimisation and mobile apps are all becoming key methods that tourism companies use to target their customers.
Tourism management degrees at EU Business School
If you’re thinking about studying tourism management, we offer a range of different degree courses at EU Business School:
- BA Leisure & Tourism Management
- MBA in Leisure & Tourism Management
- Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management
In each of our degree courses, you’ll get a deep understanding of the leisure and tourism industries. You’ll learn more about the different functions that keep the industry moving, as well as some of the key challenges and trends that you are likely to encounter.
You’ll be taught a mixture of theoretical and practical skills that will prepare you for a future career in the tourism sector.
If you’d like to find out more about our courses, get in touch with our admissions team today.