Travel & Tourism. Industry megatrends and tomorrow's talent

According to the study carried out by the World Travel &Tourism Business Association, tourism has become the sector that contributes most wealth to the Spanish economy, with a total of 176,000 million euros per year, representing 14.6% of GDP, as well as 2.8 million jobs. In fact, he points out that "the tourism sector in Spain employs almost seven times more jobs than the automobile industry, and almost three times more than the financial sector".

In the rest of the world, tourism is one of the most powerful industries, ranking third in export volume, second only to the chemical and fuel industries. In fact, did you know that tourism generates 10% of the world's jobs?

In addition, they have identified some key aspects that we would like to highlight: The importance of the sector in job creation. The use of new technologies as allies of development Strengthening air connectivity Enriching the tourism offer with, for example, "conscious", green, ecological and healthy tourism. Promoting social tourism with quality services and increasingly personalised offers.

61% of travellers worldwide say they prefer offers where they can add tailor-made options.


Technology and innovation can be great allies for these companies that do not want to be left behind. As a sector that evolves as fast as the "traveller", it needs to incorporate technology to adapt to its customers, who increasingly demand greater digitisation and personalisation.

These are some of the key technologies in the sector:

  • BIG DATA or OPEN DATA The information from millions and millions of customers will allow us to get to know them better (tastes, opinions, repeat patterns...) and Big Data technology will be able to analyse it and predict trends or preferences.

  • VIRTUAL REALITY Thanks to virtual reality we can bring the product or service offered closer to the customer in a more immersive way, so that the customer can "enjoy" the service they are acquiring or are about to acquire.

  • INTERNET OF THINGS Today's tourist is most of the time connected to the internet, so establishing efficient wireless connections at the main tourist sites and with service providers is very important. Providing a good internet service can be key to the tourist's decision on where to go.

  • EASY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (PMS) that allows easy, fast and above all secure management. Not only online reservations, but also order tracking or interacting with the company.

  • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND CHATBOTS To improve communication with the customer.

  • DIGITAL MARKETING AND RRSS Both from the point of view of promotions and marketing strategies and in the field of managing travellers' comments, evaluations and opinions about the services received.


In short, there are three main challenges facing the tourism sector:

  • The tourist at the centre of the strategy.

  • Unique" tourism offers, e.g. "green" or sustainable tourism. New technologies.

Among the hard skills most in demand are the skills and competencies acquired in specialised tourism schools and universities, especially with programmes abroad, and which introduce innovation and technology as a fundamental element of the sector. A clear example is JSF Travel & Tourism (www.jsftraveltourism.com), an initiative in which Catenon collaborates to provide greater knowledge to leaders and innovators in the tourism sector, attending to its changing needs.

As for soft skills, communication skills are the most in demand. The ability to motivate people, persuasive communication, empathy, attention to detail, emotional intelligence, creativity, leadership, negotiation, conflict resolution, negotiation, the ability to anticipate needs, etc. In short, a very customer service oriented attitude, and it will often be the personality that determines whether the candidate is chosen or not.

What about profiles? Due to the important changes in the sector, and these mega trends, we can find new profiles:

What are the profiles focused on meeting the hyper-personalisation demands of tourists?

  • On-demand Space Designer - someone able to personalise your room depending on your personality, your mood or the purpose of your trip.

  • Individual Experience Manager - beyond the room, hyper-personalisation must be reflected throughout the entire trip, and today the best hotel companies have experts who are in charge of preparing everything to the client's liking.

  • Coolhunting. The trend hunter that allows companies to anticipate the needs of the consumer and to know the actions of the competition.

What are the profiles that enable companies to respond to the demands of environmental sustainability so necessary in the tourism industry?

  • Chief Sustainability Officer - is the team member who acts as a company's advocate for all environmental issues. CSOs work with all departments to ensure measurable improvements in business sustainability.

  • Water Management Technicians - a 300-room hotel uses 225,000 litres of water per day or 750 litres per room. This is equivalent to 483 Olympic size swimming pools each year. Therefore, experts are needed today who know how to measure, recycle and reuse water in hotels in the best possible way.

  • Green" Architects or Designers - are those professionals who focus on minimising the harmful effects of construction on health and the environment. The "green" architect or designer seeks to safeguard the air, water and earth by choosing environmentally friendly building materials and practices.

What are the profiles that enable companies that will lead the change?

  • Virtual Reality Designer - professional who combines design and programming. Responsible for designing several layers of augmented reality around an area, taking into account its landscape as well as its historical and cultural context.

  • Datamining. The main function of data specialists is to work with the information that the company has about its customers.

  • Online Marketing Specialist. Specialist in increasing user traffic on the company's website and improving its image in the market. Also to launch multi-channel campaigns, depending on the device used by the user.

  • Mobile Developer - personalisation starts even before arrival. New apps allow users to download maps and personalised recommendations of the site they are visiting and control the weather and lights in their room.


At Catenon, with 20 years of experience, we have a deep knowledge of the tourism sector. We have worked with leading companies in the sector around the world, and these are just a few of the many profiles we have worked on:

  • Chief Executive Officer

  • Chief Marketing Officer

  • Chief Data Officer

  • Chief Digital Officer

  • Revenue Management Yield Manager Sales Director

  • Sales/Business Analyst Contract Manager

  • MICE tourism or business tourism specialist Travel Consultant

  • Marketing Specialist Marketing Analyst

  • Branding and Communication Managers

  • Copywriters Content Managers Social Media Specialist Datamining

  • Event Managers / Hotel Managers / Purchasing Managers / E-commerce Managers & Expansion Managers

Attracting and retaining the best talent is becoming increasingly important in the travel industry. It is therefore essential for organisations to be increasingly proactive and innovative in order to have the best team. And, given its complexity, having an expert partner can be key to achieving a competitive advantage with the best talent attraction and recruitment strategy.

Íñigo Pérez

Travel & Tourism Executive Director


(+34) 639 151 234

The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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