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The pandemic as a wake-up call

© Scott Graham

Experts at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention advise tourism businesses to adopt strategic personnel management

Studying tourism online – is it effective? The reply from three tourism professors at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention on Thursday was ambivalent. “We are now entering the third coronavirus semester, certain processes are working well and we have learned a great deal", according to Prof. Dr. Marco Gardini from the University of Applied Sciences Kempten. “But of course, excursions of all kinds form an important part of tourism training. Moreover it is important to us that the students acquaint themselves with practical aspects, ideally at first hand, rather than second hand", explained Gardini. As the professor explained, the coronavirus pandemic also makes it evident that employers in the tourism sector face new challenges. “In my opinion coronavirus is the last wake-up call for companies to finally adopt a strategic approach to the subject of personnel management", Gardini stated.

Training under practical conditions has suffered during the pandemic, while international scientific and academic communication has improved. “We are becoming more international, in particular because we are employing more digital methods. Recently I have experienced more guest lectures and visiting academics than ever before. International communication operates more directly, and one can join in more spontaneously. This will have a positive impact on teaching and also on research projects, and we can benefit from this", according to Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner from the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.

Even though tourism is going through troubled waters at the present time, the participants in the panel revealed their optimism. “I am confident that tourism will return, and when it picks up again good, well qualified jobs will be in demand", said Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmude from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich.



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