The challenge is convincing people that you are offering not only a job, but a career, says Alan Parker, managing director of London-based Whitbread Hotels. The winner of the prize to the young hotel manager of the year, organised by IH&RA (International Hotel & Restaurant Association), German Ulrike Schassberg, said “I work with passion, and find it sad to see so many people leave their jobs in tourism because they feel they do not have a future.” According to Eric Pfeffer, CEO of Cendant Corp.’s Hotels Division (the largest hotel chain in the world, with a number of brand names), going straight to the crux of the matter, in order to capture human resources, the hotel industry needs two essential elements – a school promoting hotel work as a career and an opportunity, and companies developing adequate training and retribution schemes. Ejnar Soeder, IH&RA’s new President, says that his first priority will be spurring the members of the association to place the growth of human resources at the centre of their thoughts and actions. What about Italy? I still read about few structured projects, due to the small size of our (often excellent) companies, and based on a historical vision by which investing in human resources is often viewed as investing in favour of one’s competitors. Furthermore, schools are often inadequate to respond to the industry’s needs, and thus provide the young with career opportunities. Is it all in the negative, then? I would not say so: although with difficulty, new scenarios are opening up in which both schools and businesses are promoting projects allowing to justify such a demanding choice such as that of working in the hotel industry. A few days ago, I attended the presentation of a new course at the Bocconi University of Milan, which was based on the teachings of successful experiences and on a very concrete approach. A few hotel companies are furthermore currently developing training programmes – such as the one announced by Jolly Hotels in Job in Tourism a few weeks ago – which will ensure the availability of definite professional growth opportunities for those who wish to work in this sector. New opportunities in the high-potential sector of tourism are not limited to hotels, but extend to all related services; in Italy, for example, there are about 8,000 travel agencies – in line with the evolution of modern economy, which is leading to upward-trend scenarios.
Not only a job, but a career
Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 20 luglio 2001