|With over 9.2 million Gen Y’s currently in Canada we can no longer ignore their impact on business. Very soon they will be forcing change not just influencing change. There are certain industries that are more appealing to Gen Y; travel and tourism is one of those industries. The good news is that the travel industry will enjoy continued interest from Gen Y as an industry to work in. WHY? The bad news? Gen X and Zoomers (progressive Baby Boomers) must adapt as quickly as Gen Y puts the pressure on for innovation to occur quickly. Generation Y’s views on life, work and travel are vastly different than what their parent’s views might be. Let’s look at the 5 things Generation Y would do if they ran the travel industry:They would leverage technology in every aspect of the business, using travel apps on their PDA’s to book travel but also to sell travel. They would be texting travel specials to client’s phones and offer to send them a single link to book their trip on the spot.
Social media would be not used to advertise specials but rather they would be creating contests on their websites and a custom Facebook page where they would be encouraging travel clients to create and upload videos. They would invite group votes on the best video; the winner would receive a travel prize but each person who sent a video would earn ‘travel points’ with the contest holder.
Gen Y would appeal to travelers for experiences rather than selling their destination. A great example is “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in Orlando- this entire project was headed by a Gen X/Y team. In Alberta, the experiences would be aligned with the scenery so promoting the Banff Film Festival to clients who fit the EQ systems profiling would be selected to attend this prestigious event. Or they would sell an integrated promotion of attend a Calgary Flames game, ski in Banff and shopping at the West Edmonton Mall etc.
The Gen Y boss would be open to flexible schedules and would encourage employees to reach targets but not be rigid about spending lots of in-office hours. There would be active use of cloud computing with online monitoring of all sales activities to ensure targets are being met. They would be gaining new clients through their social networks, family and friends. Employees wouldn’t have to wait to gain the travel benefits of working in the industry; they would encourage all employees to travel extensively and blog, tweet, share and promote their brand wherever they traveled in the world.
Gen Y managers would provide extensive training for their staff so that they were equipped to deal with increased visitors; training would be delivered in a variety of formats so that it could be accessed and completed ‘on the go’. Web based training that could be PDA accessed as well as group training sessions via Skype would be in place. Training would also include avatar based training where participants could learn in social groups.Gen Y is fast making an impact on business but in the next 5 years, they will not be sitting by and waiting for change. They will be demanding change or else and/or simply innovate to create their own business and do it their way anyway.