Tech and AI reshaping hospitality job market

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The impact of technology is reshaping occupations and new job categories are beginning to appear on the market requiring "hybrid" skills, according to Julia Aymonier, chief digital officer of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) Group, which provides a range of on-campus and online undergraduate, graduate and certificate programmes to students from 119 different countries.

"Not only will staff have to know how to do their traditional job as in the past, but they will also be expected to have knowledge of the technological world that is evolving around them," explains Aymonier.

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"The combination of the two will create hybrid positions that are in great demand but for which there is little supply." An example of this is marketing roles that require understanding of sophisticated statistical analysis tools and even data science.

Aymonier points out that the hospitality industry has not been spared from this disruption. Over the last decade, technology has transformed marketing, reservations, guest relations, service and many other aspects of this industry.  

Employees in this industry observe that jobs, which involve simpler, easily automated tasks, are disappearing rapidly as they are frequently being undertaken by technology.

"The dwindling number of unskilled jobs means that there is an urgent need to retrain and reskill these employees to leverage the technological changes and to prepare for the future," says Aymonier.

"Retraining current employees will be essential as the pure data scientists and engineers rarely have the soft skills, especially communication skills that are essential to succeed in the hospitality world."

With the introduction of digital tools such as IPSoft's Virtual Personal Assistants Amelia, EHL has recognised the need to incorporate technology into education, enabling students to control artificial intelligence in their future careers rather than competing with it.

"The main goal of this technology is to know your client better than they know themselves. To be able to propose products and services tailored to each individual, to make each person feel special and to create 'empathy', generating a competitive edge," says Aymonier.

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