Sébastien Leitner joined the WYSE Travel Confederation Management Board as Chairperson on 1 January 2024. We look forward to his insights and input into the strategic direction of WYSE over the next three years.
Hi Sébastien, and welcome to the WYSE Management Board. We’d love to share a few of your insights with our members, so we have a few questions for you. What is the top trend that you think will impact your business this year?
Above all, I’m excited about how generational change in the workforce will drive a need for innovation and new technology. By 2025, Gen Z will make up almost a third of the workforce. This generation has never seen or used an analogue camera, floppy disk or an outdated on-premise computer programme running a hostel. We will have no choice but to reach Gen Z as an audience, which means meeting their expectations for seamless, digital experiences from discovery to check-in, to guest messaging. The hostel and hotel community is ready to invest, innovate and update its technology to create a better user and customer experience for the next generation of guests and employees. I’m excited to be part of a team and technology provider helping them do that.
If you could promptly achieve one goal in the realm of sustainable travel, what would it be?
As an industry, we’re still working on defining what sustainable travel means. We can’t deny that travel can negatively impact the environment. However, it still serves as a critical economic driver for many countries around the world.
I’m excited about our transition as an industry to a smarter, more educated and more sustainable travel experience end-to-end. Many hosts, hoteliers and travel platforms are empowering conscious and educated travellers to reduce the footprint of travel. The airline industry and its retail network has created transparency – permitting travellers to make smart decisions and offset impact during the booking process.
What impact has a diverse workforce had on the productivity of your company?
Diversity, equity and inclusion are the bedrock of creating a welcoming environment, where everyone feels safe to come to work. That means fostering a workplace where everyone’s presence is valued, no matter who they are or what their background is. Everyone has the same chance of succeeding.
One of our core and founding priorities is to build a diverse team, evident in our 700+ team members working across 41 different countries. We believe that this difference allows us to be great at our job and serve our customers better. By prioritising a diverse workforce that works remotely around the globe, we have access to a larger talent pool, creating teams that are more creative and effective at problem-solving. Ultimately, this helps us make smarter decisions that serve our customers and the industry.
Having worked in diverse countries and markets, how do you anticipate that your experience will contribute to the growth and success of WYSE?
I am here to serve the industry and association. In my opinion, WYSE must facilitate an ongoing exchange of ideas and be the platform that welcomes collaboration around the challenges and opportunities we face today. As we look to the future, I look forward to collaborating with WYSE to help our industry grow. For that to happen we have to keep the dialogue open, especially for the voices who were previously quieted. I’m here to listen.