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#TourismMonth: What are the travel jobs of the future?

They say that universities are training students for jobs that don't yet exist. Take a trip down memory lane and you'll realise that 10 years ago jobs like app developer, uber driver and social media manager weren't even a figment of our imagination.

┬ęKatarzyna Biaasiewicz via 123RF
Ironically, when we talk about jobs being extinct in future, the role of “travel agent” often comes up as one that’s going the same way as the dinosaurs, says the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) CEO Otto de Vries. “The reality, however, is that to remain relevant and add value, the travel agent of the past has had to evolve into a travel expert and advisor.”

As our lives and lifestyles change through the decades, and with the advent of new technology, the way in which we travel is changing too. So, as the travel experts in South Africa, we’d like to pitch some of the travel jobs we predict for the future.

Virtual holiday planner

Settle into your armchair and call up your favourite virtual holiday, crafted entirely with your preferences in mind by your virtual holiday planner. Just like streaming your favourite series, you can play it back, including the sights, sounds and smells, with just a simple voice command. Build up a library of virtual holidays and take your pick – depending on your mood or the time at your disposal. Your virtual holiday planner will personalise your travel experience and create your dream virtual holidays which you will be able to ‘experience’ on demand.

Travel experience archivist

With all this disposable time for leisure and the amount of experiences you’ll enjoy as a result, you’ll want to take a trip down memory lane from time to time. The travel experience archivist will be responsible for collecting and organising all your travel memories and those of your network – friends and family – so that these can be ‘found’ at a moment’s notice and shared with your loved ones – virtually of course – when you’re feeling nostalgic. Who needs a Facebook memory when you can relive New Years’ Eve in New York on demand?

Business traveller wellness officer

Travelling for business can be stressful – red-eye flights, cramped seats, delays and long days. The business traveller wellness officer’s role will be to work with each business traveller to reduce the ‘pain’ of travelling for business. From professional coaching and nutrition tips to travel advice and alternative healing, the wellness officer will be hired by companies to ensure their travellers remain happy and productive.

Space station supervisor

The final frontier is going to need someone with a watchful eye to keep things in check. Enter the space station supervisor, who once upon a time may well have been a hotel or airport manager, but today is running the link between earth and outer space. Extremely resourceful, patient and well organised, the space station supervisor is the glue that brings all space station staff together so that space travellers can enjoy a pleasant journey to infinity and beyond.

Robot recruiter

We’re hardly going to want to work when there are perfectly good robots out there that are more than willing to do our jobs for us. But hiring good help is always so difficult. The robot recruiter that specialises in travel recruitment will assess the needs of travel companies and match these needs up with a pool of talented, capable robots to perform such tasks as a hotel concierge, check-in staff and cleaner.

With self-drive cars, hyperloops and holograms all on the immediate horizon, we can look forward to a range of new travel roles in the near future. So buckle up, enjoy the ride and travel to the future with peace of mind.
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