In April, participants of the International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management attended the Forum TurisTIC in Barcelona. This two-day event dedicated to technology and sustainable tourism brought together international experts in the field. We asked participant Giacomo D’Ayala what he learned at the event with us.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges hospitality managers face regarding sustainability?
I would focus on two main challenges. The first one is related to the traditional sustainable traveler who is not very tech savvy. This poses a great problem, as technology is an integral part of tourism today, and it is especially relevant in measuring the impact of sustainable measures.
The second challenge is related to the application of technology. Generally, technology is applied in an environmental context, and sustainability is often referred to as being “green”. The challenge is determining how technology can be used to move sustainable approaches into the socio-cultural and socio-economic fields.
How can technology, apps and innovative holistic approaches help the tourism industry measure, understand and address unsustainable practices?
In order to evaluate practices, they must first be measured to determine their impact. Without technology, this would be nearly impossible – relying on the experience of managers in the field is not enough. Technological tools make it possible to understand the processes behind the unsustainability and thus be able to identify the most critical areas for improvement.
What will be the biggest challenges for the hospitality industry in the future?
As I mentioned before, sustainability is a priority. Apart from this, I would highlight the importance of personalised service, which customers demand more and more. By this I mean being able to satisfy the unique needs of diverse clients through technology.
I see two more important challenges: mobility and the development of a sharing economy. Mobility has become a major issue – anticipating needs and creating loyalty through mobile devices is a “must”. Platforms based on a sharing economy such as Airbnb and Uber cut out the intermediary to connect individuals. These platforms, based on a sharing economy concept, have created a new set of challenges, never before seen in the hospitality industry.
Do you feel well-prepared to enter the hospitality market?
I am very satisfied with the EADA International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management. I feel much more prepared than the day I started the programme –the practical approach at EADA has given me the chance to test my skills in the field, skills that I will most certainly need in my future career.
What area of hospitality management are in you interested in pursuing after graduation?
As far my future is concerned, I would like to work in an events department. I have already experienced this area of the hospitality industry as a congress organiser and I enjoyed it.