What’s ahead for travel and tourism and what that means for new tourism professionals?

Students and professionals joined YTN on Wednesday 18 July 2021 to hear three speakers respond to “The Big Question”— Will tourism return to how it was before the pandemic or has it been forever disrupted?

The event’s speakers offered insights to changes, challenges and future outlooks from three different perspectives from within  the industry: entrepreneurial/tour guiding, academic/digital learning and business recovery/public sector services.

LISTEN to a short recap of our favourite insights from the event: AUDIO RECAP 

Attention YTN members: You can watch the whole event recording, including the Q&A and discussion portion of the event, via the members portal.

READ our top five takeaways from last week’s event—and what they mean for tourism students and young professionals:


Now that we can learn and work online, digital spaces and tools aren’t going anywhere. Even once the pandemic has subsided, these digital features will only continue to churn out more engaging and remote-friendly platforms and content and employers will be looking for the right skills and mindset to match.
What that means for new tourism professionals? Upskill often! Think outside the box, try something entirely new and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I can learn!”


Life will always throw curve balls that create challenges and provoke speedy innovations, so never get into the habit of thinking one market or trend will stay around forever. 
What that means for new tourism professionals? Keep your eye on the horizon and complacency at bay. Whether or not you’re working or your work requires it, conduct environmental scanning regularly to stay one step ahead of the game and always have insight to alternative markets and trends.


Long-term systemic change towards a more sustainable, regenerative future is well on its way and the industry will only start to reflect this more and more. 
What that means for new tourism professionals? Advocate and adopt greener practices in your sector of travel and tourism, continuously researching options for your organisation to tap into, and encourage others in your network (and your customers!) to advocate and adopt greener practices as well.


Given the turnover and mass exit from tourism careers during the pandemic, new opportunities and openings in tourism will be rife in the coming years. Studying tourism is more important than ever, but the industry will also need to rethink its approach to casual employees as well (a little love goes a long way in keeping young minds engaged). 
What that means for new tourism professionals? Experience may not be as necessary as you think—a positive mindset and willingness to adapt or take on new tasks within a role will be just as important as the industry itself adapts to a new normal.


There is definitely no lack of demand or interest for travel coming from individuals and markets. We need to break our negative outlooks circulating the media and remain positive and forward thinking to create a recovered and sustainably thriving industry. 
What that means for new tourism professionals? Show up. Keep being active and engaged even when outlooks are bleak and people will notice. Your enthusiasm for travel and tourism will flow on to others around you and a “we can do it!” mentality will always have the upper hand as tourism bounces back.

MEET the speakers:

Darryl Newby, co-founder of Welcome to Travel, handles social media, content production and business development for the international-market-based tour company.

Dr. Madelene Blaer, professor at Monash University, teaches courses related to media and digital technology within the university’s Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management.

Maureen Pillon, employee within the City of Melbourne’s economic development team, provides support and advice to small businesses to help them persist and recover from the pandemic.