We asked Pablo Valente, professor of our MBA in International Tourism & Hospitality Management, to talk with us about his career, where the future of tourism is heading and what makes BEBS Barcelona special.
If you are considering a career in the tourism and hospitality industry, make sure to keep reading until the end. The last answer is for you!
Meet the Professors of BEBS Barcelona – 8 questions with Pablo Valente
1. What motivated you to choose this path?
I studied Economics, and I had the opportunity to work in a Hotel to pay for my career. I started in Sales, but I rapidly understood that “knowledge is power”, so I started working in different departments to understand the essence and to increase sales. By the end of my career in Economics, I’ve been promoted to Head Sales Manager. Having the opportunity to develop my skills and interacting with people, the satisfaction of being responsible for their happiness, all reasons to fall in love with the Hospitality Industry.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration in my students, I make it personal. I aim to pass them all my knowledge and passion I developed along with my career, they give me the opportunity to tailor the Module and subjects to their goals. Every season is different, and I love to face them because I have most of the answers to their questions, and I know the answers because I already faced those challenges.
3. How do you imagine the future of the tourism and hospitality sector after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tourism is about people, service and hospitality, and by being the fourth and in some countries even the first engine of the economy forces us to adapt and evolve permanently. We need to change even faster than before, but it’s important to see the bright side of this situation.
The new era of Tourism will be brilliant and plenty of new opportunities. We will integrate Tourism into our daily life, open spaces are king, flexibility in every sense, main cities will decentralise their activities, new markets will be developed, new segments of tourists, new niches to target. Today more than ever the importance of developing our skills in Tourism becomes extremely relevant.
4. What do you think are the main challenges and opportunities lying ahead for professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry?
The main challenge for tourism will be to find the balance between people’s needs and the new business models being Health and Safety paramount.
However, it faces various challenges in Security, Communication, Marketing, and Digitalization. Technology made its way as a critical challenge as well, making it easier for the hotels to adapt to the new reality and create jobs.
Big changes bring new opportunities. In my Module, we study the new trends in the Hospitality Industry and their impact on the Market means we look at the present and the future to identify these new opportunities. Creativity will make a difference in this new era, and professionals must find a way to be able to take their future visitors on a trip before even getting to the destination.
5. Why do you think studying tourism is still an excellent choice despite these exceptional times?
Studying Tourism is extremely relevant. To be part of this big change time, you must understand what is going on; otherwise, you risk being obsolete even before starting. Studying tourism is not just reading a book; it prepares to jump into the industry to gain experience. The great asset you will gain from a master degree in travel and tourism is Business Management skills. Your studies will focus on management and knowledge directly related to the hospitality industry; however, these skills can be applied to various other fields that might be of interest in the future.
6. What do you try to transmit to students during your classes?
Definitely my passion and knowledge. I cannot show them +25 years of experience in one Module, but I make them think out of the box, I put them in front of real situations and ask them to find the solutions. Then we analyse these solutions (every student have one or more and this is fantastic) in class or in the Forum. I’ve been there before and I face real challenges every day at my job. I love to share with them the real aspect of the job and working with my students is a fantastic experience. I learn from them as well because we interact constantly and I make them feel comfortable, but at the same time, I push them to the edge to demonstrate how capable they are.
7. What was your favourite moment at BEBS so far? What do you think makes the school special?
The end of every Module is memorable. Seeing the students reactions when they realise how much they have learned is a priceless experience. We, professors, have a huge responsibility. We cannot assume they know the basics, so I always start from scratch no matter what. BEBS is really special because it gives me the freedom to teach at my pace, and I can adapt the rhythm to the multicultural group of students. BEBS is close to every student. It ensures they get what they are looking for: complete knowledge in a flexible and safe environment with highly experienced professors who comes from the industry.
8. Any glimpse of hope and encouragement to share with our students of the MBA in International Tourism and Hospitality Management?
Never give up no matter what. Knowledge is power, and we all have only one freedom in life: make decisions. Please, make the right decision and invest in yourself. Show the world that you are an asset worthy to invest in.