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Industry Trends and Predictions: Education

The growth of technology and the events of 2020 have only accelerated change in travel education. To create more effective learning environments, educators and organization executives must stay abreast of the latest changes and key factors affecting education. Here are the five most important developments and trends.

Technology Trends

The explosion of digital resources and sudden mass migration to the virtual workplace present many benefits and challenges for those tasked with offering the education their constituents need to thrive.

Smart technology allows trade associations to promote industry best practices, build strong membership funnels, curate learning tracks, deliver consistently great content and connect with users who were previously out of reach.

Online platforms have forced changes to how we teach. Webinars and traditional classroom techniques fail to keep online students engaged and accommodate professional schedules. Digital classrooms, like those offered at, make it easier to deliver meaningful lessons on demand that address different learning styles and track student progress, participation, and retention more efficiently.

Soft Skills Training

The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report suggested that complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, communication and emotional intelligence would be among the most important skills required in the workplace.

Institutions that tap into quality formulas for developing these skills on demand will find themselves at a competitive advantage. Their people will be more employable with improved success rates, greater retention and expanded opportunities for growth.

Student Trend: Decreasing Attention Span

The average attention span for a goldfish is 9 seconds. A 2015 study by Microsoft showed that, thanks to our increasingly digital lifestyles, people now lose concentration after just 8 seconds. "Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli—they're more easily distracted by multiple streams of media," the report read.

This change has a tremendous impact on how we keep students engaged. Lengthy lectures, webinars and slide presentations are proven to be counterproductive. Instructors must design courses that capture students' attention, diversify instruction, necessitate repeated engagement, and encourage self-discovery, and do so at the students' pace.

Companies Will Invest in More Third-Party Pre-Developed Digital Content and Courses

Nearly every entity in our industry has been challenged to minimize costs and maximize efficiency. Organizations will seek to buy content at scale, focusing on skills-based courses and customizable learning tracks from a reputable source. Open educational resources, like, offer dynamic resource libraries and course catalogs that make content, certification, and experienced qualified instructors easily accessible, far more cost-effective, and easy to implement.

Lifelong Learning Trend

The current job market is incredibly competitive. Professionals who want to keep pace will need to constantly update their skills. This requires institutions to cultivate self-development as a mindset for their staff, members, executives and trusted experts. Training must create opportunities for teaching self-discovery skills and encouraging micro-learning, so people can continue to advance and engage in their chosen fields.

Stephen Ekstrom has joined the team at as Chief Strategist. In addition to holding leadership within the tourism industry, he's been profiled by the New York Times, lectured at leading universities, appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, and published by trade publications around the globe. The mission is to educate and inspire the travel trade, making it easier for tourism industry professionals to advance their careers, grow their businesses, and deliver more life-changing travel experiences.


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