Trends in Travel and Tourism is a new core course in MS in Global Hospitality Management and the MS in Travel and Tourism Management. Professor Simon Bradley, the instructor, tells us more about his background and the course in this post.
What is your background?
I’ve worked in travel, tourism and entertainment for the last 25 years or so and have been fortunate to work in many countries! I’m originally from the UK but have also worked in the Nordic countries (based in Sweden), Latin America, Asia, and for the last 14 years, the US. I now run my own New York based consultancy and work with travel and tourism clients around the world in the public and private sectors.
My most recent leadership position was with The Madison Square Garden Company, where I was Senior Vice-President of Marketing Strategy and Consumer Engagement, leading brands as diverse as the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the Radio City Rockettes. Before that, I was Vice President of Marketing at Virgin Atlantic Airways, leading all marketing in North America for five years. Earlier in my career, I also held a number of senior positions at VisitBritain, the organization responsible for marketing Britain for leisure and business travel. As well as being an Adjunct Professor at New York University, I am a course leader for the Association of National Advertisers and run many workshops on Brand Activation, Integrated Marketing Planning and Execution and Brand Management.
At the Tisch Center, you teach the Trends in Travel and Tourism course. What are the objectives of the course?
Travel and tourism is a fascinating, fun industry and I love it! One of the great things about it is that it is constantly changing and evolving. Just look at the differences in the ways that we are travelling in the last two years. My goal with this course is to help students understand the big trends that are influencing the way that the industry is developing right now. Every semester is different, because we keep right up to date with the latest in hospitality, destinations, airlines, cruise, attractions and technology. We even cover space tourism!
Why is this an important and interesting subject area in our fields?
I’ve worked with many great people in the travel and tourism industry over the years and I’ve always felt that the best ones were those who had an instinctive understanding of what was going on around them and could react quickly to that. For me the first rule of any business should be to understand your customers – today and in the future. The trends we cover in my course are not abstract concepts, but fundamental shifts that are happening now – like sustainability, diversity and inclusion, the growth in experiences, wellness, new tech and the sharing economy. I would argue that everyone working in travel and tourism needs to have a handle on these and other trends to be successful in the future.
What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?
I love working with my students and hope that I can pass on my passion and enthusiasm for a great industry to them! I feel like I’m at a point in my career now where I have accumulated a lot of experience and insight and so it’s fantastic for me to have the opportunity to share that. I hope that my students leave this course with a deeper understanding of the trends that will impact their careers and a passion for always putting the customer first!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
In this course, we all learn together. One of the things I love about it is that no two semesters are the same; I get the opportunity to learn about the latest trends as well, while also extending my own international perspective by working with my students, who come from all over the world!