Preparing for Take-off

Raising the profile of the business travel industry as a career choice

How can the business travel industry attract new talent?

As The Business Travel Association publishes its latest brochure on career opportunities within the business travel industry – Your Career Can Travel – our very own Sonam Popat, Gray Dawes Marketing Consultant and member of the Generation BTA board, shares her opinions on the state of awareness of corporate travel as a job option and what can be done tackle the need to attract new people into the industry.

Sonam Popat

Sonam Popat

Marketing Consultant

One of the challenges currently facing the business travel industry is how to raise the profile of the travel industry in order to attract new talent.

In a recent report commissioned by the Business Travel Association (BTA), you may be surprised to learn that the value the business travel industry brings to the UK economy is close to £30bn a year and that the corporate travel industry supports nearly 300,000 jobs. Despite these impressive credentials, business travel as a career choice remains woefully underrepresented in many schools and colleges, with students being simply unaware of the industry as a career opportunity.

If candidates outside of corporate travel have heard of it, some of the misconceptions about the industry are not understanding what business travel really is or that they’ll be working in the same role throughout an entire career.

Of course, that’s simply not the case.

Speaking on a panel discussion at the BTA Spring Conference this month, I and other members of the BTA’s Generation Advisory Board proposed the industry needs to do more to raise its profile as a career choice.

Photograph of memebers of the BTA Travel Board on stage

There are so many different roles within the industry, not just travel consultants or agents; there’s Marketing, Finance or Sales for example. We need to make sure that college leavers know that; we must create awareness around the number of opportunities that exist with the business travel industry. I see tackling this challenge as a marketing campaign. Understanding the audience we want to attract and creating the right messaging that will resonate with them, followed by choosing the right channels to get the message across in order to grab their attention.

At the BTA Spring Conference, the advisory board also recommended raising awareness of what organisations are doing to bring in a diverse workforce, or supporting their workforces’ mental health. Since the pandemic, the industry is taking really positive steps forward with topics that Gen Z are finding important, such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion. These issues are being discussed at interviews and now travel management companies are putting much more focus into these areas.

Could you be a Gray Dawes matchmaker?

We’re always looking for the best people to join us. So, if you know someone who you think would be a perfect match for Gray Dawes, we’d love you to tell us.

The Business Travel Association’s priority is to continue to attract new talent and to continue to visit colleges.

Their latest publication, entitled ‘Your Career Can Travel’ shows the variety of opportunities there are across the travel industry and provides guidance on how to start a career in the sector.

Gray Dawes whole heartedly supports the BTA’s initiatives and I’m super excited to be a part of the Generation BTA board helping to drive this awareness of what can de an incredibly rich, diverse, challenging and fun career. We also support a variety of schools and colleges in our local office locations, regularly attending careers fairs and open days to fly the flag of the fantastic business travel industry

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