While many workers around the globe fear automation, the travel industry is embracing it — holding positive outlooks on how technology can improve their work environments. To boost the overall travel experience, travel providers — including airlines and hotels — are welcoming the use of technology and automation tools amid challenges posed by labor shortages.
A recent study published by Deloitte found that, despite the growing reliance on automation, only a third of those surveyed anticipate a reduction in staff size over the next five years. Instead, 95% of airports, and 64% of hotels believe that automation will create new opportunities for workers. Additionally, 88% of airports and 58% of hotels expect automation to improve their work environment.
The travel industry’s positive sentiments towards automation suggest a different outlook towards rapidly evolving technology. It seems the travel industry overall is holding a stance where it is embracing new digital tools and processes because it doesn’t necessarily equate to massive job losses. On the contrary, many in the industry believe it will likely lead to the emergence of new roles and responsibilities for employees and businesses.
That being said, one of the most pressing concerns for the industry is the need to reskill workers to adapt to these new technological changes. Nearly half of the respondents listed training their workforce to harness the potential of new technologies as one of their top three concerns, according to the report.
The traveler’s experience is also projected to benefit from these technological advancements. A significant majority of airport managers (74%) and over half of hotel general managers (56%) anticipate that automation will enhance the guest experience. Some improvements mentioned in the report could range from faster check-ins at airports due to AI-driven systems to personalized room settings in hotels through cloud computing.
The travel industry’s pivot towards technology in the face of labor challenges is a forward-thinking approach that could gain traction in other fields. In the coming years, companies will have the choice to invest in both technology and their people to ensure proper training and support in the face of fast technological advances. This blending of employee skills with new technology is expected to continue to develop and is projected to shape how people work across a wide spectrum of industries.