GETTING TO KNOW TAMMY MARSHALL

CONTRIBUTOR: Emma Castle & Tammy Marshall

GETTING TO KNOW TAMMY MARSHALL

Who is Tammy? And how did she get involved in the tourism and hospitality industry? Read on for a short synopsis on one of Australia’s hottest travel industry experts.

HOMETOWN: BRISBANE

I grew up too far from the beach, as far as I was concerned. I was born and raised in hot, humid Brisbane, considered a big country town with a laid-back lifestyle.

FIRST JOB: TAX CLERK

My first job was not what I had hoped for but, in hindsight, it was an experience that had the most influence on who I am today.

I was offered a cadetship in accounting in a small accountancy business as a clerk doing tax returns. Within a couple of years, I graduated to a medium size accounting firm. They were interesting times. Women were not allowed to wear pants, harassment was a daily ordeal and you addressed your (always male) superiors as ‘Sir’.

It was a stuffy and stitched-up environment and I can’t say I enjoyed the work – far too uninteresting and repetitious for me – so I quit and travelled around the world for six months, broadened my horizons, learned to snow ski, how to sail and to be independent.

WHY TOURISM & HOSPITALITY?

Where the accounting industry was formal and rigid, the tourism industry was full of energetic, adventurous, interesting people who were building an industry that has become one of Australia’s most important earners. I soon realised that it was the people and creativity that most drew me to the industry. I first joined the snow skiing industry. The Australian ski industry really evolved while I was there and I evolved with it.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED?

A week before I was due to return home from my big overseas adventure, I sat on top of a mountain in Banff Lake Louise and really thought about what next. I had no idea, but I knew two things – I never wanted to go back to work in accounting and I knew I wanted to work in the tourism sector. I squeezed in a few weeks skiing before I returned home and landed a job as a part-time ski tour guide escorting trips to Thredbo and Perisher snow fields.

The tour company I joined was the biggest in the industry. I took the initiative to write an operating manual for myself and shared it with other tour guides to use and it got the attention of the bosses. They loved it and offered me a full-time job as Groups Sales Manager. I spent ten years in the ski industry; such fun and fond memories. I grew up with this industry, across wholesale, retail and group travel. I went from my P-plates to some senior roles with the company.

During my time in travel I also completed with my Bachelor of Business part-time and went on to complete my Post Graduate Diploma and Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

WHAT ROLES HAVE YOU HELD IN INDUSTRY?

I had grown into senior roles within the ski business and then I was headhunted for the Managing Director, Contiki Holidays and Resorts role. I worked for the Travel Corporation for 10 years, growing Contiki, developing new products and opening new operating regions. I was then promoted to Global Managing Director for AAT Kings. At the same time, I also launched a start-up, Inspiring Journeys, for the Travel Corporation. A start-up inside a corporate organisation; now that was interesting.

I left AAT Kings to join the Carnival group as the SVP of Carnival Corporation and Head of Commercial for P&O Cruises. The cruising market was growing (and still is) and Carnival is the dominant global player in the cruise sector. It was an exciting time to join.

After a few years in the cruise sector I was headhunted for the COO of TFE Hotels.

18 months later, The B Hive was born.

DO YOU SIT ON ANY BOARDS?

Until recently I was Non-Executive Director on InTouch Data Board. I resigned on the June 30, 2017.

I sit on the Laurette University Advisory Board which has a hospitality focus.

Laureate’s network of nearly 70 campus-based and online universities in 23 countries offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to over one million students worldwide. It is the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions.

I am also the Senior Industry Advisor for Tourism and Hospitality sector for Australia’s largest corporate accelerator, Slingshot.

I’m also the Australian Ambassador for the World Innovation Forum based in Zurich.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR ISSUES FACING THE TOURISM SECTOR?

We live in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. It’s going a million miles an hour and businesses need to adapt to the new environment.

Businesses have to balance improving execution and efficiency (driven by digital transformation), stimulate growth as a number one priority and tackle disruption which is coming from everywhere and everyone.

Specific trends are:

  • The digital revolution and advances in technology. These present opportunities for brands trying to deliver an enhanced user experience (UX), improve efficiency and at scale operations. Messaging, assistants, AI and block chain are some of the latest technologies gaining exposure. Organisations must embrace technology and focus on developing service personalisation, customer interaction, process automation and scalability. This will inspire and provoke customers into booking, while lowering cost to serve.
  • Consumers now spend more of their hard-earned cash on experiences than on possessions and material goods. The driving force is the consumer desire for local and authentic experiences where people return home with new knowledge and skills to make positive changes in their lives. Unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are in hot demand and ‘showing’ authenticity to customers rather than just ‘telling’ them seals the deal. Organisations must deliver opportunities to learn and share special moments with others.
  • After years of growth, leading OTAs are consolidating and are now global travel giants. OTAs arguably control travel distribution. Also, distribution now looks to expand through vertical and horizontal integration – e.g. Expedia invests in hotel tech, Flight Centre acquires Destination Management Companies, Kayak and Skyscanner expand to hotels, car rentals, etc. Organisations must control further the online channel to maintain bargaining power and expect new types/forms of competition from OTAs or other larger players.
  • Plenty of disruption coming from new entrants in the tourism industry and adjacent industries. For example, Paypal, media brands such as Channel 7 and 9, Kogan, loyalty programs such as FlyBuys, group buying brands like Groupon and Luxury Escapes or new business models like Get Luxe owned by Ignite Travel Group.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO RESOLVE THIS?

Organisations are under pressure but now is the time to lean in and embrace the change and adapt to the changing landscape.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done just doesn’t cut it anymore. We specialise in helping people and businesses to transform, perform, grow and innovate their way to ongoing success.

WHY DID YOU START THE B HIVE?

We live in a time where we will as individuals and businesses undergo exponential change and our ingrained practices, structures, business models and the mechanisms for creating organisational value needs to be rethought. Many businesses are in the midst of transformation and I believe organisations need external capability and support to make this shift.

The B Hive was born to help businesses improve, grow, transform and find creative solutions. I knew I could be more effective helping people accelerate change and facilitate transformation as external partners where we are not part of ‘business as usual’ and can avoid the typical wrangling and manoeuvring of office politics. It makes us highly productive. We also come in with fresh eyes and a specific set of skills to support and progress the organisation.

At the same time technology will create so many opportunities that will improve the way we live, solving health care issues, reducing poverty and hunger, and making travel more accessible. This will put enormous pressure on societies with so many jobs becoming redundant in the future and emerging jobs being less understood.

We want to play a role in helping people and businesses transition.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE BUSINESS?

Our vision is to help businesses and people future proof themselves.

We help future proof businesses by optimising core business performance and platforms. The path to transformation allows us to then overlay new capabilities, technologies, processes and systems. We also focus on growth as the number one priority for businesses, as well as investing in research and development, innovative start-ups or new technologies that strategically add value to their existing business.

For people, we encourage a growth mindset and inspiration to invest in themselves for the future. That means focusing on core competencies that are needed in the future.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

We want to partner with organisations specifically in the travel and tourism and hospitality and leisure sectors to help them optimise and improve their core business, today, as well as play our part in facilitating an internal growth mindset.

We work to find opportunities for growth to sustain the business into the future.

WHO CAN YOU HELP MOST?

Travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure sector leaders, the C-suite, executive teams and boards.

DO YOU MENTOR ANYONE?

I am mentoring a start-up with Rare Birds and mentor start-ups at Slingshot. I really enjoy mentoring start-ups – they are much more purpose-driven organisations. They want to make the world a better place and they reframe problems and find innovative solutions to tackle gaps, problems or create new solutions that add value to people and society.

I especially love working with the younger generation and, importantly, they’ll be the generation that guides some of the biggest moral, ethical, economic and social change this world has ever seen.

I am also actively working with a number of start-ups in an advisory role.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?

Like everyone on the planet, my dream has always been about making an impact that makes the world a better place.

I have always felt that I could make that impact by designing travel experiences.  Travel plays an important role of creating meaningful change in our life and allows us to see the world from new perspectives. For a very long time, I have loved creating travel experiences that move, change or even transform people.

This is not only for the travellers but also by giving back to the places we have visited by ensuring we support local experiences and communities, respecting and protecting the places we go and reducing traveller’s impact.

Our actions create the future we want for ourselves and for future generations.

I believe in impact over profit.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO? 

Being outdoors – in nature and by the water, on the beach – makes me very happy.

My favourite local escape is to stay on the Pumicestone Passage which is a body of water between the northern tip of Bribie Island and the Caloundra headland. It has the most picturesque sunrises over a calm, tranquil and gorgeous waterway with the ocean as the backdrop. This is a prime location for lots of water sports – kayaking, jet skiing, boating, fishing and windsurfing. The passage is one of Australia’s most important bird and marine habitats on the east coast. It’s home to a plethora of birdlife, 1,500 resident shorebirds of 11 species and nearly 20,000 migratory shorebirds of 24 species, as well as, populations of dugongs, dolphins, turtles and more. It is never dull – so much to see, do and enjoy.

My second home is France. I’ve travelled there every year (for the last 24 years) to see some of our best friends (who are indeed French). France is easy to love. The people are so much fun, social and so culturally different. Love the patisseries – baguettes, pastries –  only in France can you get chocolate bread rolls. There’s so many gorgeous villages but I stay in Fontainebleau, a village southeast of Paris (about 45mins) and known for INSEAD and the famous Chateau. We continue to explore more of France every year from the coast, to the countryside, to the wine regions, and to where the rich and famous cruise in to Saint Tropez.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW?

I’m here to help others.

AND WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE?

As we enter into a hugely disruptive time, I want to help leaders in the travel and tourism and hospitality and leisure space to prepare, navigate and embrace the technological shifts and exponential change that is happening in our industry.

WHAT DO WE CARE ABOUT?

We care deeply about the impact of tourism, protecting the world’s natural assets and we prescribe to sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.

AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE DON’T FORGET

  • Connect with our founder, Tammy Marshall on LinkedIn here.
  • Follow The B Hive on LinkedIn here.
  • Like us on facebook here.
  • Follow us on twitter here.
  • Download The B Hive’s 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation & How to Avoid Them White Paper here.
  • Download The B Hive’s white paper on Collaboration in the Travel & Tourism Industry here.
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