“We are recruiting from companies like Google and Facebook.”
Tui Travel is targeting tech specialists for recruitment in a bid to better understand the search and social media phenomena. Speaking at TTG’s Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders dinner this week, chief executive Peter Long said these companies’ direct experience was vital for the tour operator’s future.
“We are recruiting people from companies like Google and Facebook. We need to know how these guys think as it is better than second-guessing.”
Long said this was part of efforts to tap into the growing opportunities appearing as a result of technology. But he also had some advice for tomorrow’s travel leaders.
“You don’t have to understand how to program, but you have to understand how it’ll fit into your business,” he said, adding that effective bosses need to learn to be more hands-off and let staff get on with their jobs.
“You have to rely on people around you. Give them responsibility and let them make mistakes,” he said.
With travel being so unpredictable, companies have to make additional efforts to survive. Long said Tui Travel writes into its accounts each year €50 to €60 million in case of emergencies. This planning would have come in useful during last year’s issues in Egypt, when customers had to be evacuated from Red Sea resorts.
[pictured: Tui boss Peter Long joins TTG‘s 30 Under 30 for dinner at the Cadogan Hotel, London]