Travel industry staff will have to overperform in order to keep their jobs as the industry becomes ‘leaner and meaner’ during the recession.

That was the outcome of a talent management round-table debate, which preceded the Shine Awards ceremony at London Metropolitan University last week. Representatives from Amadeus, Hilton Hotels, Future Travel and various recruitment firms attended the discussion.

Event management company First Protocol chief executive Richard Waddington said: “The recession could be a good thing because people who might have sailed through before will have to work harder.”

Shine People and Places director Alessandra Alonso said staff would have to “overperform” to keep their jobs. “It is not enough just to do your job anymore,” she said.

Staff who come forward with ideas and contribute to the success of the business are vital to survive, said Alonso.

Vertical Group chief executive Peter Healey added: “We need people who will volunteer, not be passive. It’s about talent survival, not talent management.”

Vanessa Cotton, moderator and former managing director of events at ExCeL said training budgets were likely to be cut so the industry would have to “do more with less”.

She said the focus will be on developing existing staff and involving them in discussions about the impact of recession on business.

London Metropolitan University lecturer in tourism Pat Wood added: “This industry is going to become leaner and meaner – more like some of the developing countries – and that might not be a bad thing.”