Professor James J. Spillane, S.J.
The Future of Work in Hospitality: A Third World Perspective from Indonesia
THE FUTURE OF WORK IN HOSPITALITY: A THIRD WORLD PERSPECTIVE FROM INDONESIA Professor James J. Spillane, S.J. Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta, Indonesia ABSTRACT Before the current pandemic, WTTC estimated that travelers spent US $1.6 trillion per year thus contributing 10.3% to global GDP. More than 330 million people worked in the travel and tourism industry. This represented one in every 10 jobs. Since the pandemic, some 121 million jobs have been lost.. The majority of the work was in micro, small and medium sized enterprises [MSMEs] in developing countries. After seeing why travel will never be the same, this paper will examine what its rebuilding means for hospitality workers. Within the complex global tourism market, there is an enormous variety of hospitality. Consequently, this paper will focus primarily on the fourth most popularist country in the world: Indonesia. It owns one eighth of the Equator with a pearl shaped set of 17,000 islands stretching 4,300 kilometers from east to west in Southeast Asia. There are 714 distint ethnic groups speaking 1,001 local languagse. It is the ultimate in cultural and biodiversity. Despite the impact of labor-saving technologies in many other industries, hospitality will remain labor intensive. It is “high touch” requiring physical and emotional contact between consumer and producer. Tourists must come to their destination. “Soft skills” [empathy, emotional, social and spiritual intelligence] rather than technical skills are the keys to success. The Great Resignation proves that hospitality enterprises cannot merely hire hands or brains. The whole person comes to work with body, mind, heart and spirit. Hospitality workers are more Emotional Workers than Knowledge Workers. People no longer are willing to accept low paying jobs without any meaning for them. The four dimensions of work [formation, product, process and remuneration] explained in the Papal Encyclical Laborem Exexcens will be applied to hospitality work. Hospitality work can help respond to the global pandemic in mental health. An appropriately designed travel experience has proven to be very therapeutic for many people. Like the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on 11 September, 2001, Covid-19 will also change travel forever. Hospitality is one of the more resilient, innovative and flexible industries in the world. There is a lot of speculation about the future of travel. We need to think differently and prepare for the future. There are six major trends that are part of the “New Travel Experience”. 1. A new and enduring emphasis on healthy travel. 2. A renewed focus on domestic travel. 3. Renewed awareness of the true costs of tourism. 4. A surge in personal, private and self-guided travel. 5. Sustainability within travel. This paper will focus on Rejuvenative Travel. This kind of travel will not have a disruptive impact on the environment nor contribute to global warming. Rather it will foster global solidarity and cross-cultural understanding. There is a need to view these changes as ultimately beneficial for the planet as well as global tourism communities. Then future travelers will have the best and most informed human experience they possibly can.