By Michel Taride, Chair of the GTTP Advisory Board and Group President of Hertz International
Tourism is a Force for Good. It promotes tolerance and peace. It creates jobs and country development. The industry encourages intercultural cooperation and employment of people from all walks of life and nationalities. It also is a force for championing – and actioning – sustainability to protect our planet and preserve our limited resources.
Working in the industry will require that you develop a truly international mindset, whether you are promoting tourism in your own country, or operating in a multi-country environment. Many travel and tourism companies that you will come across will have cross-national teams where each member brings a specific skillset and local market competence. You will likely also meet tourists and travellers from all different parts of the world
I myself am a good example of this kind of opportunity. Hertz not only enabled me to work across many geographies and cultures but also helped me move from the bottom to the top of the career ladder. I started my career in one of the smallest Hertz locations in France and then eventually moved to country leadership in charge of France and Italy, and ultimately I am now the head of our International division that spreads across 3 continents.
Today the travel and tourism industry is increasingly building diverse talents and skillsets that in turn lead to greater employee mobility and global careers. You will have a tremendous opportunity to interface with colleagues and partners from numerous different backgrounds. While working together, and when supporting customers, you will continue to break down political and cultural barriers for greater mutual respect and opportunity across geographies.
To be successful, be passionate about what you do. Passion is your drive. If you like what you do, you are going to be at your best and you are going to thrive. Think big, be willing to excel, and pay attention to the details.
Certainly, work very hard. Be flexible. The world nowadays is a tough world and you’ve got to be able to change and adapt really quickly. While it helps to be culturally competent and even speak several languages, it is also important to be adaptable, resourceful and ready to switch between different roles.
Of course, it helps to have a little bit of luck thrown in as well but that won’t work on its own. Luck comes your way when you work hard on everything else.
Ultimately, be committed and think about people first – your customers, your colleagues, your boss. Treating them with a positive customer service mentality will work to your advantage and makes it a happier place for everyone.
Being a Force for Good is all about the most important values: respect and equal opportunities for individuals, communities, nations, today and in the future. Good luck!