According to GlobalData offering staff additional training initiatives during the lockdown restrictions will not only engender the staff commitment but can prepare employees for changes within the future travel space which are inevitable.
The data and analytics company points out that 50% of the global travellers want to know about the initiatives adopted by a brand during this pandemic and 34% want to know about the sustainability initiatives of a brand.
During these challenging times, GlobalData says, it will be more important than ever for the operators to adhere to travelers needs – investments in workforce may offer that additional service that will differentiate the quality of one brand from another.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel & tourism analyst at GlobalData, observes that: “As all operators now prepare for the ‘new normal’, strategic evaluation is critical to service for the future travel space. Competition will be even more intense in a post COVID-19 world, therefore, service quality and staff commitment are key areas that need to be polished for the operators to successfully service the future travel demand.”
Bonhill-Smith continued: “Customers wish to know how flexible a booking policy is, how safe and hygienic destinations are and the actions a company has taken to combat the impacts of COVID-19. Hence, this is the prime time for the operators to invest in training initiatives to help staff better serve the future traveller.”
The Focus Travel Partnership, a corporate agency, has teamed with Atris, a travel technology provider, to aid staff in dealing with airline vouchers – a new form of ticketing that is circulating the industry to better serve the future travelers’ market.
TUI UK has urged the staff to use a variety of online resources during this time. The European travel giant, made some of the most significant cuts to workforce as 83% of the UK employees were furloughed. However, the staff have been encouraged to use this time wisely.
Hays Travel also furloughed the majority of its workforce as a result of COVID-19. However, it does not seem that training initiatives have been encouraged.
Said Bonhill-Smith: “Staff adjustment has been one of the primary actions taken by travel agents and operators. This has taken the course of reduced working hours, pay, and furlough of workers and in some cases, redundancies.”
And she concluded: “Operators are still understandably dealing with mass cancellation requests as the extension of suspended holiday programs continues. Nonetheless, employees that are furloughed in the UK cannot take part in any action that may contribute to operational revenue – including dealing with queries. Training initiatives are still permitted and those that invest in the future workforce may find employees are better prepared for the ‘new normal’ that lies ahead.”