TTME JULY 2018-PG 5

Investing in human capital

Per Vidar Lundberg, Client Partner, Hyper Island, analyses a recent study by The World Bank which urges GCC countries to develop a system that can transform growth-inducing innovations for knowledge-based economies.

TT Bureau

How does human capital investment contribute towards travel and tourism in UAE?

When we look at emerging markets such as the UAE and the Middle East, several recent reports consistently suggest that the GCC should focus on the development of talent and invest more in its human capital. However, fact remains that a high percentage of the workforce is made up by influx of expats from around the world. This makes investing in the human capital even more challenging in an expat driven economy, where everyone is temporary. Hence, in the GCC, it is important to consider the multicultural backgrounds of the population and work towards setting a solid foundation for this unique yet dynamic economy.

What are the key areas that need attention by stakeholders in talent growth sector?

Having a clear idea about the core of the business is vital. Young talent requires a bigger picture and bolder ideas than just making a profit. The hype around visionary leaders like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg is spreading as a general requirement and selection criteria. Companies also need to have a vision and talk about their culture in a way that feels attractive to young talent. The systems in the workplace need to be adapted according to the way they prefer to work, collaborate and balance their lives.

What skills and jobs will Middle East and North Africa be looking at?

Being a part of a global community (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), I don’t think the requirements will be different in this region. In a global environment, history, heritage and culture will be even more important, and in that sense travel, tourism and hospitality are great areas for young talent to work in.

Will the travel sector be challenged by technology?

Yes, technology will for sure disrupt travel, tourism and hospitality, and it already has to a large degree. However, in a digital era, the need for profound experiences, feelings and fascination is more evident than ever. As travel and tourism is in a great position to provide those experiences, the opportunities are far bigger than the threats. In the culturally rich areas of EMEA, the opportunities for success are endless. The mix of heritage, culture and new technology should make the travel and tourism industry particularly interesting for young talent.

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