Reflections with Manuel Molina: tourism innovation and financing funds

Today the issue of tourism innovation and the imminent arrival of financial funds to support it has become crucial, as the sector is strongly affected by the pandemic. From this point of view, for months various sectors within the tourism industry have been encouraged to opt for the financing funds granted, among others, by the European Union.

On this occasion, Manuel Molina, president and CEO of TSS Group (a Central European tourism intermediation company that brings together more than 3,500 travel agencies), within the framework of the Tourism Innovation Cathedra of the University of Malaga that bears his name, shares some reflections on the most important aspects that, according to your point of view, should be considered when renewing, reinventing and requesting investments in this area.

In the first place, according to Manuel Molina, innovation should not be associated just with the technological variable. Technology is a very important element for the modernization of the sector, as is sustainability, but the key element to face these difficult months and come out of them with a prosperous business is investing in people. The human resources that are involved in the productive processes of the tourism industry must be renewed and reinvented as well as the infrastructures or tools that are so much talked about. "Innovation must reach all areas of the production process, including people, since this is the best investment in the future" - assures the President and CEO of TSS Group, betting on people in this era of digital transition will mean designing a modern, sustainable and safe tourism industry.

From there, he states that tourism companies hope that the aid that comes with the funds will fall especially on the private sector, as it is the private sector that accelerates modernization, generates jobs, etc. For this, it would be necessary to promote international relations between companies, creating consortia and strategic alliances.

On the other hand, despite the opportunities for business modernization that these financing funds represent, it should be clear that these grants are not intended to solve liquidity problems, highlighting Molina that “The funds that will arrive will be focused on issues such as digitization or sustainability, which are undoubtedly very important aspects, but if the aid also remedied solvency problems, it would be a firm and intelligent step to support companies in this crisis ."

When dealing with the issue of technologies, the development of which the help will focus on, Molina's answer is clear - "The mobile has been a revolution in all aspects of life, this device has given a new life to everyone, even the elder people, who are also getting closer to this technology. The mobile is present and future and that is where it is necessary to invest preferably. People lie down and get up with their cell phones in hand "Therefore, it will be essential for tour operators to adopt ways to build new relationships with consumers through this support, insists Manuel Molina.

Finally, addressing the issue of the academic sector, the entrepreneur emphasizes the importance of research in tourism. From this point of view, he assures that it is essential to increase investment in research related to the sector, which is largely carried out by universities. "If we want to have tourism that works and is sustainable in the future, we must invest in its research now."

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