Is the “Great Resignation” in Tourism Death?

“Tourism first and foremost is about people”

Brice Dutheon, Project Director of the Southern Campus for Tourist Professions at CCI Nice Côte d’Azur, talks about the disruptions caused by the crisis linked to the coronavirus. For this expert, a big resignation is not inevitable. The transformation of organizations is ongoing and irreversible. Companies will have no choice but to adapt.

the wall
the wall

The wall of the “Great Resignation” is there, not even in front of us, but in front of us. It already crashed there. Remember Churchill. “It’s better to take the change by hand before they grab you by the throat” – author eamesBot

There was a time not so long ago, just two years ago, when an idea that seemed new at the time was burgeoning on social networks. world after That was the time of the first containment of Spring 2020, a time like suspension. Then we mentioned the period we lived in as “unpublished”.

Imagine us going through these two turbulent months of life.” world after “. what was ” world after » What promises did you imagine, what values ​​were given to him? Certainly, the end of economic and industrial drift, the desire to preserve the planet, the announcement of responsible commitments, the announcement of changes in consumption or lifestyles.

Some mocked this naivety, claiming that ” world after “You will look” the world before “But what is worse.

Others saw in him a sign of the need to change their lives, which during these weeks they spent away from common spaces, away from useless meetings, away from tyrannical managers, finding or rediscovering a meaning, sometimes ignored even then.

The world of tourism has gone through its first real crisis

The world of tourism has gone through its first real crisis. A major structural and cyclical crisis. Immediately after the first confinement, aspirations to live, breathe and enjoy life manifested themselves.

Tour companies regained significant activity, and protection schemes were soon justified. The French were proud of their country and its diversity.

The summer weeks of 2020 were marked by the triumph of geographical, ecological and human convergence.

Life resumed its rights in new forms. The concept of constraint seems to be evolving, according to the declarations of these sectors that were declared as priorities, and then no longer. In short, a certain kind of cacophony accompanies the ups and downs.

Who was helpful? Who wasn’t? The words have meaning. The lack of social or economic viability did his job, along the way…

work shift

Quickly, the job market is interested in mutating. How can people who have lived in confinement for two months and have been confined with their families, connected only to the rest of the world, including their companies, through their various screens, be able to go back to work? questioned and questioned.

Then frankly in many sectors the question was worrying, to a large extent the first returns for employers were worrying. The staff fled with an unknown, peerless and unprecedented speed. The health professions were the first to be affected.

Thirty years of closing beds, Excel spreadsheets fitted into infallible strategic models emphasized how often decisions were made despite common sense. Care, and therefore patients, were arranged in a hierarchy.

Activity-based pricing (T2A) has become the only financing method for public and private health institutions under the “2007 Hospital” scheme. The weakening of the model that had been the pride of French-style public service, and a form of republican equality was attacked on all sides. In two years, the number of nurse vacancies rose from 10,000 in 2019 to more than 60,000 in 2021.

Examples multiplied in many other sectors, presented as providers of jobs with low value added, low wages and often difficult working conditions: transportation, logistics and, of course, the hotel and restaurant industry.

But other features were affected. This is what the documentary showed. fell apart Through the journey of six young management graduates who question the contemporary economic model and aspire to find meaning in their work. The idea of ​​”nonsense work” was shared, these famous “nonsense jobs” described by David Graeber.

The transformation of organizations is underway

2022 marks two years of great societal transformation: Mass resignations are now part of the common vocabulary.

talking about “The Great Resignation” where “The Big Quit” in the United States of America. In France, in the third quarter of 2021, more than 620,000 resignations and terminations by mutual agreement and observationAn increase of about 20% from its level in 2019.

This situation may have seemed paradoxical just over two years ago. But it almost makes sense today. The path we’ve taken in search of meaning, commitment, and self-realization in the professional world seems to be everyday.

Emptiness in professional life before, the search for individual and collective meaning, the search for balance, the ambition for a peaceful career, horizontal and less top-down management, independence and freedom.

Are these new societal achievements, claims or illusory goals to be taken into account, both by authorities and public organizations? Transformation in organizations is underway. And we dare to affirm it, their human transformation is irreversible. It has become even the last stage in the transformation of tourism.

The “Great Resignation” wall exists

Understanding human transformation and the resulting business decision is a step that many organizations today seem to be putting off.

But The “Great Resignation” wall existsNot even in front of us, but against us. It already crashed there. Remember Churchill. ” It’s better to take the change by hand before you catch our throat “.

The Great Resignation is not an accident of death for tourism if and only if we respect, at least, four conditions:

Objective situation analysis : We accept the idea that Covid19 exposes weaknesses, that employee expectations have changed (with a passing in a few months from “what can I do for the company?” to “that the company can do for me?”) and that these crises are shared It is widespread and globalized, so responses can only be collective.

The necessity of transforming organizations : We transform organizations by starting with a necessary and basic strategy around the concepts of purpose, values ​​and commitment. How many tourism companies are able to that day? The shift vector has to go through a real CSR strategy and not just install a few irons on wooden legs. The transformation begins with human resources (organization, management, team). Human, human transformation, is the next front for tourism.

Thinking Differently About “Employee Experience” : I have already written in this column, it is time to think about the place of man in tourism. With this inconsistency and what appeared to be opposition between client and employee. It is essential that companies and organizations more broadly give meaning to jobs to generate employee commitment. And they focus on the idea of ​​their trip.

Collectively prepare the tourism workforce of tomorrow: It is necessary to work as a team, collectively, on the scale of a territory or a destination to transform it. It is necessary to connect all actors, analyze needs for example through the regional GPEC and a clear will to train all types of people (disabled, young, unemployed, immigrants, etc.) in professions, professional skills and know-how and not only for diplomas.

Sector transformation is necessary

Tourism’s “Great Surrender” is certainly not inevitable. But it requires a common conviction and will expressed at all levels of decision-making.

Starting with the state. Needless to say, the absence of the Tourism Minister in Elizabeth Bourne’s government does not portend an ambitious policy in this area.

Churchill quotes again. ” The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, and the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. »

The difficulty of representing tourism at the highest level of public policy is certainly a fascinating opportunity and a clear challenge.

The sector must move to action. Because its transformation is necessary. And his future depends on it. “Next World” tourism is being written more every day.

With, let’s be sure, at the heart of the device is its human transformation.

Brice Dothon - D
Brice Dothon - D

Brice Dothon – D

Brice Dothon is Project Director of the Southern Campus for Tourism Professions at CCI Nice Côte d’Azur. He is also an independent consultant and expert on tourism, culture and regional development. Working with many players in the public and private sectors, he is an expert on Open Tourisme Lab, CNFPT and INSET Dunkirk and is part of the blogger team at

He was previously a lecturer at the National Institute of Arts and Crafts (Le Cnam), educator and teacher at the Ecole Urban de Sciences Po Paris, Vice-President of the Conference for Excellence in Training in Tourism (CFET) and a founding member of the French Institute of Tourism (IFT).

Brice Dothon has authored many books and articles on tourism. He was in charge of the “Tourism” group at the Editions de Boeck Supérieur. Finally, he has authored several MOOCs published on France Université Numérique (FUN).


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