Document Type


Publication details

Cairncross, G & Buultjens, J 2007, 'Generation Y and work in the tourism and hospitality industry: problem? what problem?', Centre for Enterprise Development and Research Occasional Paper, no. 9, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW.


It appears that there are employers who believe that Generation Y employees are often problematic. The technology, mass marketing, political times, and pop-culture in which Generation Y have grown up has ensured they have appreciably different ambitions and world views to previous generations. This paper reports the results of a study examining tourism and hospitality employer views of Generation Y employees and how some employers are attempting to draw upon the strengths of these workers. Focus groups with, and interviews of, employers in Coffs Harbour, Cairns, South East Queensland, Sydney and Port Douglas were used to gain an understanding of employer views. The focus groups indicated a sizeable number of tourism and hospitality managers believe Generation Y’s beliefs in the types of work that they should be doing in their formative years in the workplace is a substantial problem for their organisations. However, a minority group of employers identified Generation Y's attitudes to work as an opportunity to tap into their strengths and to connect with their potential customer base. A number of iconic Generation Y cultural 'tools' have been adopted by this more visionary group of tourism and hospitality employers and are being used for recruitment and retention.

Included in

Business Commons