What skills in 21st-century tourism? Empirical evidence from online job advertisements



This paper aims to understand what skills are required in jobs in the tourism sector, looking from a particular perspective: that of online job advertisements, which, although not very present in the sector, constitute a valuable source for making reflections on the current use of the tool among operators, the professional figures required, the transversal skills considered most necessary. Furthermore, the study provides a comparison between online job ad data and some statistical sources concerning occupations and skills in tourism. A descriptive and explorative analysis of online job ads is performed to meet the paper's objectives. The study is carried out on a dataset produced by LightcastTM and reporting information on online job advertisements for Italy in 2022. This contribution represents one of the few works that analyse the tourism job market through online job advertisements, with a critical view of the information content of those data sources compared to frameworks and perspectives adopted in the academic literature. Despite the limitations deriving from the fact that tourism is not well represented in online job ads, the results provide helpful reflections on the skills demanded in the sector and their development. There is confirmation that this could help with corporate management choices, education, the development of the job market, and the competitiveness of destinations. At the same time, for these data to provide information consistent with theories and conceptual frameworks specific to human resources research, it is necessary to trace them back to classifications and taxonomies consolidated in the literature.