When I stood for election to the ITT board, one of my main priorities was to bring more young people into our industry.
From London city guides to specialist tour operators, from sales and marketing to founding new travel businesses, I believe there is a real opportunity to target and recruit real talent.
From my own research, I have noticed that Travel and Tourism courses are not that widespread, and many that do exist tend to focus on the hotel and service sector, or the travel agency side of our industry.
By giving new people an insight into our wide and varied industry, we will inspire new ideas, fresh ways of tackling issues, and most likely attract new entrepreneurs.
We also need to use the knowledge and personalities within our industry, and should not turn our backs on the likes of Brent Hoberman.
When he launched lastminute.com, it was seen by many industry veterans as a business that would not survive.
Indeed, at one time many Abta board members thought that the internet was not worth investing in.
But one look at the changing face of travel demonstrates how fortunate we are to be in a dynamic industry, and we should encourage change and look to the future by accepting and bringing in new blood.
On a very small scale, we at Voyage Privé look to encourage young people into our business with our intern programme.
We are only a small business, currently employing 24 people, but we hope to welcome four to six interns a year and give them an overview of our business and experience in several departments during their stay with us.
Hopefully, as we keep growing, many more will work with us and work their way up. With our offices in France, Spain, Italy and Brazil, they will also have the chance to work in other markets.
There are not many sectors which could offer such a diverse and exciting array of opportunities, and we must ensure we capitalise on it to secure the long-term health of our industry.
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