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16 Chapter 16 Hospitality & Tourism
Richard Parsons; Stephen Skripak; Anastasia Cortes; Anita Walz; and Gary Walton
- Understand what tourism is: definition, components, and importance.
- Understand the economic, social and environmental benefits and costs of tourism.
- Define hospitality and the pineapple tradition.
- Identify the types of hotel categories and how they are determined.
- Examine the different categories of food service operations.
- Understand the different types of events, meetings and conventions.
The tourism industry is often cited as the largest industry in the world, contributing 10% of the world’s GDP. In 2016 there were over 1.2 billion international tourists: that’s a substantial economic impact and movement of goods and services! 1 Tourism is also considered an export and is unique in that the consumers come to the product where it is consumed on-site. Before we dig any deeper, let’s explore what the term “tourism” means.
Definition of Tourism
There are a number of ways tourism can be defined. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) embarked on a project from 2005 to 2007 to create a common glossary of terms for tourism. It defines tourism as follows:
A social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which imply tourism expenditure. 2
In other words, tourism is the movement of people for a number of purposes (whether business or pleasure). It is important to understand the various groups and constituencies involved in this movement. Of course it includes the tourist, but also the vast array of businesses providing goods and services for the tourist, the government and political structure of a destination, and the local residents of the destination community itself. Each of these components are necessary parts of a successful tourism destination and operate within private and public sectors, the built environment, and the natural environment. All these come together to create the processes, activities, and outcomes of tourism.
If it all seems a little overwhelming, it might be helpful to break tourism down into broad industry groups, each of which will be covered in this chapter:
Accommodation and Lodging
- Food and Beverage Services (F & B)
Recreation and Entertainment
- Convention & Event Management
- Private Clubs
Benefits and Costs of Tourism
Tourism impacts can be grouped into three main categories: economic, social, and environmental. These impacts are analyzed using data gathered by businesses, governments, and industry organizations. Some impacts gain more attention than others. It is also important to recognize that different groups and constituencies are impacted differently.
Economic Impacts of Tourism
The tourism industry has a huge economic impact that continues to expand to new markets and destinations. According to the UNWTO, in 2016 “The total export value from international tourism amounted to US$ 1.5 trillion.” 3 Regions with the highest growth in terms of tourism dollars earned (2016 vs 2015) are Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas Europe. Only the Middle East posted negative growth at the time of the report. As well, the UNWTO’s Tourism 20 3 0 Vision report predicts that international arrivals will reach nearly 1.8 billion by 2030. 4 Figure 16.2 provides additional information about the impact of tourism worldwide.
Positive impacts from this economic boom include robust foreign exchange, increases in income, and GDP growth. Tourism can also offer diverse employment opportunities, can be developed with local products, and is often compatible with other economic activities within a destination. Tourism often injects money into the community that leads to secondary economic development as well. For example, successful resorts may create the need for a commercial laundry facility or a pet boarding business.
However, there are also negative impacts. Property values may increase to the point of unaffordability for local residents, and the seasonality of the tourism industry may create a feast-or-famine economy. As with any economy, if too many resources are focused on just one industry, communities may be vulnerable to any unexpected economic, social, or environmental changes. One example is the New Jersey shore after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The tourism industry was severely impacted, leaving no economic fallback for local residents.
Social Impacts of Tourism
In addition to the economic benefits of tourism development, positive social impacts include an increase in amenities (e.g., parks, recreation facilities), investment in arts, culture, heritage and tradition, celebration of indigenous communities, and community pride. Tourism also has the potential to break down language, socio-cultural, religious, and political barriers. When developed conscientiously, tourism can, and does, contribute to a positive quality of life for residents and promotes a positive image of the destination.
However, as identified by the United Nations Environment Programme, negative social impacts of tourism can include: change or loss of indigenous identity and values; culture clashes; changes in family structure; conflict within the community for the tourism dollar; and ethical issues, including an increase in sex tourism, crime, gambling, and/or the exploitation of child workers. 5
Environmental Impacts of Tourism
Tourism relies on, and greatly impacts, the natural environment in which it operates. In some destinations, there is a great appreciation of the environmental resources as the source of the tourism industry, and as such there are environmental protection policies and plans in place. Tourism has helped to save many delicate ecosystems and their flora and fauna. Preservation of these important resources benefits not only the tourist but also the local residents as well.
Even though many areas of the world are conserved in the form of parks and protected areas, tourism development can still have severe negative economic impacts. According to The United Nations Environment Programme, these can include the depletion of natural resources (water, forests, etc.), pollution (air pollution, noise, sewage, waste and littering), and physical impacts (construction activities, marina development, trampling, loss of biodiversity, and spread of disease). 6
The environmental impacts of tourism can reach beyond local areas and have an effect on the global ecosystem. One example is increased air travel, which is often identified as a major contributor to climate change.
Whether positive or negative, tourism is a force for change around the world, and the industry is transforming at a staggering rate.
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The Hospitality Industry
When looking at tourism it is important to consider the term hospitality. Some define hospitality as “the business of helping people to feel welcome and relaxed and to enjoy themselves.” 7 Simply put, the hospitality industry is the combination of the accommodation and food and beverage groupings, collectively making up the largest segment of the industry.
The pineapple has long been the symbol of hospitality. The Caribs, indigenous people of the Lower Antilles in the Caribbean, first used it as such a symbol. The Spaniards knew they were welcome if a pineapple was placed at the entrance to the village. This symbolism spread across Europe and North America where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of the plantation. 8 Charles Carter added a three and a half foot wooden pineapple to the peak of the roof at Shirley Plantation, the first plantation in Virginia. 9 It is now common to see the image of the pineapple as a sign of welcome, warmth and hospitality.
The types of employees and resources required to run an accommodation business — whether it be a hotel, motel, or even a campground — are quite similar. All these businesses need staff to check in guests, provide housekeeping, employ maintenance workers, and provide a place for people to sleep. As such, they can be grouped together under the heading of accommodation and lodging . Figure 16.4 summarizes the various groupings within the industry.
Hotels are typically referred to by hotel type or other classifications. Hotel type is determined primarily by how it will function and what amenities will be included within the property. Size, location, service levels and type of business or targeted market segments are additional classifications. Industry also classifies hotels by chain scale…separating hotels into categories determined by their average daily rates. Various ownership structures and brand affiliations also differentiate hotels.
Hotels may be classified on a number of different variables. Type of Hotel : There are numerous classifications by hotel type including all-inclusive hotels, all-suite properties, B&B/Inns, boutique, convention/conference centers, condo hotels, resort, extended stay, full service, casino, limited service and timeshare properties. Size and Complexity: A hotel can be classified by the number of guest rooms it has; hotel sizes can range from a small boutique hotel with fewer than 50 rooms to a large resort hotel with more than 1,000 rooms. The complexity of the hotel is determined by the volume and number of additional revenue generating functions such as the square feet of available conference space, number of F&B operations and additional services and amenities like pools, fitness centers, spas, golf, etc. Location: The location of a hotel can also determine the type of guest served. An airport hotel may be very different from a city-center property in an urban environment, or a remote island resort or a small quaint bed and breakfast located on top of a mountain. Hotels that specialize in conferences, may locate near entertainment destinations like Las Vegas or Disney theme parks to provide pre-post conference activities for attendees. Service Level: The level of service provided is also a key variable, ranging from an inexpensive budget or economy hotel, (Limited or Focused Service Hotels) which may have limited services and amenities, to upscale and luxury hotels (Full Service Hotels) with many services and a wide range of amenities. Market Segmentation: Figure 16.5 on the next page outlines the characteristics of specific hotel types that have evolved to match the needs of a particular traveler segment. As illustrated, hotels adapt and diversify depending on the markets they desire and need to drive occupancy levels and generate revenues. Some hotels will specialize in a specific market segment, but in today’s competitive environment, most hotels will target a combination of these segments.
There are several other industry related organizations, such as Forbes and AAA which provide Consumer Ratings for individual hotels….another form of classifying a property. Forbes has traditionally awarded 1 to 5 “Stars” and AAA, 1 to 5 “Diamond” ratings. Additionally, many social media applications like Trip Advisor offer hotel property ratings to consumers.
Chain Scale: Smith Travel Research (STR) is an organization that provides the lodging industry with global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. STR classifies the lodging industry into six chain scale segments according to their respective brand Average Daily Rate (ADR). The six segments are defined as Luxury ; Upper Upscale ; Upscale ; Mid-Scale with F&B ( Upper Mid-Scale ); Mid-Scale without F&B ( Mid-Scale ) and Economy . Through STR’s 30 –plus years of service to the hospitality industry, they have developed vital benchmarking performance solutions, established market trend transparency and provided data used by the investment community to support hotel development projects. Their core product, the STAR report, provides hotel owners and operators with comparative performance data between their property and a defined set of market competitors and allows you to follow trends in hotel occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPar). Developers, investors, industry analysts, hotel brands and management companies all utilize STR data when determine what type of hotel to build and what location would provide maximum opportunity for success.
The type of ownership, brand affiliation and management are also very important variables in the classification of hotels. Owners may manage their own hotels independently but in today’s competitive environment, they would likely sign a Franchise Agreement with a nationally recognized brand as well as a Management Contract with a hotel management company to manage the property. A hotel chain such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt or IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) is comprised of multiple brands: Marriott, following their recent merger with Starwood currently has 30 different hotel brands, with each name representing a different level of price, service or targeted market segments.
Selecting a brand affiliation is one of the most significant decisions hotel owners must make. 10 The brand affiliation selected will largely determine the cost of hotel development or conversion of an existing property to meet the standards of the new brand. The affiliation will also determine a number of things about the ongoing operation including the level of services and amenities offered, cost of operation, marketing opportunities or restrictions, and the competitive position in the marketplace. For these reasons, owners typically consider several branding options before choosing to operate independently or to adopt a brand affiliation.
Another managerial and ownership structure is franchising. A hotel franchise enables individuals or investment companies (the franchisee) to build or purchase a hotel and then buy or lease a brand name to become part of a chain of hotels using the franchisor’s hotel brand, image, loyalty program, goodwill, procedures, cost controls, marketing, and reservations systems. 11
A franchisee becomes part of a network of properties that use a central reservations system with access to electronic distribution channels, regional and national marketing programs, central purchasing, revenue management support, and brand operating standards. A franchisee also receives training, support, and advice from the franchisor and must adhere to regular inspections, audits, and reporting requirements.
Selecting a franchise structure may reduce investment risk by enabling the franchisee to associate with an established hotel company. Franchise fees can be substantial, and a franchisee must be willing to adhere to the contractual obligations with the franchisor. 12 Franchise fees typically include an initial fee paid with the franchise application and continuing fees paid during the term of the agreement. These fees are usually a percentage of revenue but can be set at a fixed fee. The total percentage of sales ranges significantly for hotels from 3.3% – 14.7% with a median of 11.8%. 13
It is common for ownership to utilize a management contract , which is a service offered by a management company to manage a hotel or resort for its owners. Owners have two main options for the structure of a management contract. One is to enter into a management agreement with an independent third-party hotel management company to manage the hotel. There are hundreds of these companies, but some of the large organizations include Aimbridge, Benchmark Hospitality, Crescent Hotels, Interstate Hotels, and White Lodging. A slightly different option is for owners to select a single company to provide both the brand and the expertise to manage the property. Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, are companies that provide this second option to owners.
Food and Beverage Services
The food and beverage sector is commonly known to industry professionals by its initials F&B. The F&B sector grew from simple origins to meet the basic needs for food and beverage services to increasing demand for unique experiences and broader options. As the interests of the public became more diverse, so too did the offerings of the F&B sector. The increasing awareness and demand for organic, sustainable, local or craft options as well as special dietary needs in food and beverage continue to challenge this industry. In addition, in order to better attract and serve a diverse array of diners, the F&B industry now consists of a variety of segments. The following is a discussion of each.
Quick Service Restaurants
Formerly known as fast-food restaurants, examples of quick-service restaurants , or QSRs, include Chick-fil-A, Subway, and Pizza Hut. This prominent portion of the food sector generally caters to both residents and visitors, and it is represented in areas that are conveniently accessed by both. Brands, chains, and franchises dominate the QSR landscape. While the sector has made steps to move away from the traditional “fast-food” image and style of service, it is still dominated by both fast food and food fast; in other words, food that is purchased and prepared quickly, and generally consumed quickly as well.
Fast Casual Restaurants
Fast Casual restaurants focus on higher quality ingredients than QSR’s and provide made-to-order food in an environment that does not include table service. Customers usually queue and order at a counter. The seating area is more upscale and comfortable. Examples would include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera and Jason’s Deli.
Full-service restaurants are perhaps the most fluid of the F&B operation types, adjusting and changing to the demands of the marketplace. Consumer expectations are higher here than with QSRs. 14 The menus offered are varied, but in general reflect the image of the restaurant or consumer’s desired experience. Major segments include fine dining, family/casual, ethnic, and upscale casual. Fine dining restaurants are characterized by highly trained chefs preparing complex food items, exquisitely presented. Meals are brought to the table by experienced servers with sound food and beverage knowledge in an upscale atmosphere with table linens, fine china, crystal stemware, and silver-plate cutlery. The table is often embellished with fresh flowers and candles. In these businesses, the average check, which is the total sales divided by number of guests served, is quite high (often reviewed with the cost symbols of three or four dollar signs: $$ \$\$\$ or \$\$\$\$ $$.) Examples include the Inn at Little Washington, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Capitol Grille.
Casual restaurants serve moderately-priced to upscale food in a more casual atmosphere. Casual dining comprises a market segment between fast casual establishments and fine dining restaurants. Casual dining restaurants often have a full bar with separate bar staff, a larger beer menu and a limited wine menu. This segment is full of chains such as Chili’s, Outback, Red Robin and Cracker Barrel as well as many independent restaurants in regional or local markets.
Family restaurants offer affordable menu items that span a variety of customer tastes. They also have the operational flexibility in menu and restaurant layout to welcome large groups of diners. An analysis of menus in family/casual restaurants reveals a high degree of operational techniques such as menu item cross-utilization, where a few key ingredients are repurposed in several ways. Both chain and independent restaurant operators flourish in this sector. Examples of chains in this category would be Golden Corral, Cici’s Pizza and Ponderosa Steakhouse.
Ethnic restaurants typically reflect the owner’s cultural identity, Vietnamese, Cuban, Thai, etc. The growth and changing nature of this sector reflects the acceptance of various ethnic foods within our communities. Ethnic restaurants generally evolve along two routes: toward remaining authentic to the cuisine of the country of origin or toward larger market acceptance through modifying menu items. 15 Examples would be P.F. Chang’s, Tara Thai or Pei Wei.
Bars, Wineries, and Craft Distilling
The beverage industry continues to evolve as well with a strong focus on local craft beers, wines, cider and distilling. Wineries exist in almost every state, with over 250 in Virginia as of 2015. 16 Wine, bourbon, cider trails and brew pub crawls, etc. are used to generate awareness and create experiences for customers. Wineries often use event space or festivals to take advantage of the beauty of the winery and supplement their revenues.
Institutional Food Service
Institutional f ood s ervice is large scale and often connected to governmental (National Parks) or corporate level organizations. Often run under a predetermined contract, the institutional F&B sector includes:
- Educational institutions
- Prisons and other detention facilities
- Corporate staff cafeterias
- National Park restaurants and concessions
- Cruise ships
- Airports and other transportation terminals and operations
Examples of companies who focus on Institutional Food Service are Compass, Sodexho, Aramark.
Accommodation Food Service
This sector includes hotel restaurants and bars, room service, and self-serve dining operations (such as a breakfast room). Hotel restaurants are usually open to the public and reliant on this public patronage in addition to business from hotel guests. Collaborations between hotel and restaurant chains have seen reliable pairings such as the combination of Shula’s Steakhouse and Marriott Hotels.
Restaurant Industry Profitability and Cost Control
According to the National Restaurant Association, QSRs have the highest pre-tax profit margin at 6.3%, while full-service restaurants have a margin of 4.7%. There will be significant variances from these percentages at individual locations, even within the same brand. 17
A number of costs influence the profitability of an F&B operation. Some of the key operating expenses (as a percentage of revenue) are detailed in Figure 16.16, above, where food cost and salaries & wages are the two major expenses, each accounting for approximately a third of the total. Other expenses include rental and leasing of venue, utilities, advertising, and depreciation of assets. These percentages represent averages, and will vary greatly by sector and location.
Cost control and containment is essential for all F&B businesses. Demanding particular attention are the labor, food, and beverage costs, also known as the operator’s primary costs. In addition to these big ticket items, there is the cost of reusable operating supplies such as cutlery, glassware, china, and linen in full-service restaurants.
Recreation can be defined as the pursuit of leisure activities during one’s spare time 19 and can include vastly different activities such as golfing, sport fishing, and rock climbing. Defining recreation as it pertains to tourism, however, is more challenging.
Let’s start by exploring some recreation-based terms that are common in the tourism industry. Outdoor recreation can be defined as “outdoor activities that take place in a natural setting, as opposed to a highly cultivated or managed landscape such as a playing field or golf course.” 20 This term is typically applied to outdoor activities in which individuals engage close to their community. When these activities are further away, and people must travel some distance to participate in them, they are often described as “adventure tourism”. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), adventure tourism is “a trip that includes at least two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion.” 21
Ultimately, categorization is based on a combination of several factors, including manner of engagement in the activity (risk exposure, experience requirement, group or solo activity), the distance travelled to access the activity, and the type of environment (proximity to nature, level of challenge involved) in which the activity occurs.
A 2013 adventure tourism market study discovered that people who travel for adventure experiences tend to be well-educated, with 48% holding a four-year degree or higher credential. They value natural beauty and rank this factor highest when choosing a destination. The most cited reasons for their travel are “relaxation, exploring new places, time with family, and learning about different cultures.” 22
Globally, it is estimated that the continents of Europe, North America, and South America account for 70% of adventure tourism, or US$263 billion in adventure travel spending. 23
Entertainment is a very broad category which overlaps with many of the areas discussed elsewhere in this chapter, like hotels and accommodation. Two major types of entertainment that we’ll discuss here are gaming and theme parks.
Gaming has grown significantly in the U.S. and globally. The number of casinos in the U.S. has been growing since 2010, and in 2013, there were over 500 commercial casinos, as shown in Figure 16.16. Casinos are found all over the U.S. in major cities, riverboats, and on Native American lands. However, U.S. casino revenue has been relatively flat, while global gaming revenues have been on the increase, largely due to Asian market growth. Most casinos involve other facets of the Hospitality industry such as lodging, F&B, golf, entertainment, spas, etc., but they also have the added challenges of casino operations.
Theme parks have a long history dating back to the 1500’s in Europe, and have evolved ever since. Today, it is hard not to compare any amusement park destination to Disneyland and Disney World. Opened in 1955 in sunny California, Disneyland set the standard for theme parks. Theme parks outside of California and Florida are often highly seasonable operations challenged with significant staffing and training requirements each year.
Convention and Event Management
A convention is a large meeting of people with similar interests who meet for a period of at least a few days to discuss their field. An event is a gathering at a given place and time, usually of some importance, often celebrating or commemorating a special occasion.
Both conventions and events can be extremely complex projects, which is why, over time, the role of meeting planners has taken on greater importance. The development of education, training programs, and professional designations such as CMPs (Certified Meeting Planners), CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional), and CMM (Certificate in Meeting Management) has led to increased credibility in this business and demonstrates the importance of the sector to the economy.
Meeting planners may be independent contractors hired to facilitate the planning process, work directly for the company full time to coordinate their meeting, or work for hotels, conference centers and event venues directly.
- The various tasks involved in meeting and event planning include:
- Site inspection & selection
- Logistics and planning
- Human resource management
- Marketing and public relations
- Budgeting and financial management
- Sponsorship procurement
- Management and evaluation
A m ega-event is a large scale, highly prestigious event such as the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup, or a global economic summit. These events typically gain tremendous media coverage and have major economic impacts on the host location, both positive and negative. High levels of tourism (1 million+ visitors) associated with a mega-event brings revenue, but the revenue may be outweighed by substantial capital and social costs incurred by the host. The events are often awarded to host destinations through a bidding process and gain tremendous media coverage.
A special event is a one-time or infrequent specific ritual, presentation, performance, or celebration. Special events are planned and created to mark a special occasion, such as a presidential inauguration or the Queen of England’s 90 th birthday. Like mega-events, there may be significant media coverage and economic impact for the host city or destination.
A hallmark event is a unique event that is often identified with the location where it is held, like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or Oktoberfest in Munich. Hallmark events contribute significant economic benefits and even can create a competitive advantage for the host city or destination that attracts tourists.
A festival is a themed public celebration that conveys, through a kaleidoscope of activities, certain meaning to participants and spectators. Festivals are often celebrations of community or culture and feature music, dance, or dramatic performances. Examples include Lollapalooza, the Cannes Film Festival, and Junkanoo in the Bahamas.
Local Community Events
A local community event is generated by and for locals; although it may attract tourists, its main audience is the local community. The community may experience measurable economic impacts, as might happen at The Steppin’ Out Street Fair in Blacksburg (think hotel stays and eating out). Fundraisers and community picnics are also examples in this category.
Meetings and Conventions
The tourism industry also has a long history of creating, hosting, and promoting meetings and conventions that draw business travelers. In fact, Convention and Visitor Bureau’s (CVB’s) work hard to attract these meetings and conventions to their city to drive economic benefit for hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, etc.
There are several types of such events.
Conventions generally have very large attendance, and are held on a regular schedule but in different locations. They also often require a bidding process. Political conventions are one such example.
Association M eetings or C onferences are held regionally and nationally for hundreds of associations or events focused on specific themes. Examples would be the National Restaurant Association Annual Convention, ComicCon, or the National Auto Show.
Corporate M eetings will vary significantly in size and purpose and include regional or national sales meetings, shareholder meetings, training sessions, or celebrations. The location will vary depending on the nature of the meeting. They may be held at an airport property, a traditional corporate meeting facility or even an upscale resort.
Trade S hows and T rade F airs can be stand-alone events, or adjoin a convention or conference.
S eminars , W orkshops , and R etreats are examples of smaller-scale events.
As meeting planners have become more creative, meeting and convention delegates have been more demanding about meeting sites. No longer are hotel meeting rooms and convention centers the only type of location used; non-traditional venues have adapted and become competitive in offering services for meeting planners. These include architectural spaces such as airplane hangars, warehouses, or rooftops and experiential venues such as aquariums, museums, and galleries. 24
Transportation and travel services are another large element of the tourism industry. This area includes cruise ships, airlines, rail, car rentals, and even ride sharing such as Uber and Lyft. Each of these segments is impacted significantly by fuel costs, safety issues, load factors and government regulation.
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you are in good company. According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), 23 million passengers were expected to go on a cruise worldwide on 62 member lines in 2015. 25 The industry employs over 900,000 people. 26
Over 55% of the world’s cruise passengers are from North America, and the leading destinations (based on ship deployments), according to CLIA are: 27
- The Caribbean (36%)
- The Mediterranean (20%)
- Northern Europe (11%)
- Australia/New Zealand (6%)
- Alaska (6%)
- South America (3%)
The t ravel services sector is made up of a complex web of relationships between a variety of suppliers, tourism products, destination marketing organizations, tour operators, and travel agents, among many others. Under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the travel services industry group includes “establishments primarily engaged in travel arrangement and reservation services. Examples … are tourist and travel agencies; travel tour operators and wholesale operators; convention and visitors’ bureaus; airline, bus, railroad and steamship ticket offices; sports and theatrical ticket offices; and airline, hotel and restaurant reservation offices.” 28 Tourism services support industry development and the delivery of guest experiences.
A travel agency is a business that operates as the intermediary between the travel industry (supplier) and the traveler (purchaser). Part of the role of the travel agency is to market prepackaged travel tours and holidays to potential travelers. The agency can further function as a broker between the traveler and hotels, car rentals, and tour companies. 29 Travel agencies can be small and privately owned or part of a larger entity.
Online travel agencies (OTAs)
Online travel agents (OTAs) are companies that aggregate accommodations and transportation options and allow users to choose one or many components of their trip based on price or other incentives. Examples of OTAs include Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, and Kayak.com. OTAs are gaining popularity with the travelling public; in 2012, they reported online sales of almost $100 billion 30 and almost triple that figure, upward of $278 billion, in 2013. 31 Over 40% of U.S. travelers booked flights online in 2014. 32
A tour operator packages all or most of the components of an offered trip and then sells them to the traveler. These packages can also be sold through retail outlets or travel agencies. 33 Tour operators work closely with hotels, transportation providers, and attractions in order to purchase large volumes of each component and package these at a better rate than the traveler could by purchasing individually.
Destination marketing organizations (DMOs)
Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) include national tourism boards, state/provincial tourism offices, and community convention and visitor bureaus around the world. DMOs promote “the long-term development and marketing of a destination, focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing and service” 34 .
Country c lubs are another part of the Hospitality industry with a very different service strategy focusing on serving members who will develop relationships with the staff compared to a more transactional service interaction in lodging, restaurants or airlines.
Country clubs do not focus as strongly on profit as they do on maximizing member satisfaction, retention and growth while maintaining an attractive fee structure. Country (or city) clubs, will typically have restaurant and bar operations, catered events and other amenities such as golf, tennis, pool, fitness facilities, etc. Depending on the type of club, family and youth events are important to maintain and grow membership.
Strong customer service, culinary, event management and general management skills are necessary to be successful in clubs.
As in any other fast-moving industry, the landscape in Hospitality and Tourism is always changing. This video explores 10 of the more important current trends impacting the industry.
- The Tourism industry is the largest industry in the world with significant benefit and costs to a region. The global competition for the tourism dollar is significant within the US and between countries.
- Hotels vary significantly in size, quality, purpose, chain affiliation, and ownership. The complexity of the operation and leadership vary as well.
- Food and Beverage is made up of a wide variety of restaurant types from QSR, Fast Casual, Fine Dining and Ethnic. Institutional food service in business , hospitals, education, parks and concessions are a significant part of the Food and Beverage industry.
- The evolution of tastes and consumer expectations in food and beverage continue to provide opportunity and challenges in the industry for ethnic sustainable, organic, local, craft, and other unique experiences.
Chapter 16 References and Image Credits
Portions of this chapter were adapted from Westcott, Morgan (Ed) Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC. CC BY 4.0 https://opentextbc.ca/introtourism Available for free at: http://open.bccampus.ca
Image Credits: Chapter 16
Figure 16.1: JackMac34 (2015). “Untitled.” Public domain. Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/italy-burano-postcards-971575/
Figure 16.2: “The Impact of Global Tourism.” (2016) Data retrieved from: http://www2.unwto.org/content/why-tourism
Figure 16.3: Yellowute (2007). “Shirley Plantation.” Public domain. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shirley_Plantation_2006.jpg
Figure 16.6 “Example of a Hotel Market segmentation by STR’s chain scale” Author’s own work. Licensed CC BY 4.0 .
Figure 16.7: Christina Hsu (2009). “San Diego City and Bay at Night.” CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://flic.kr/p/6KZ5Cv
Figure 16.8: Anastasia Cortes (2016). “The Inn at Virginia Tech.” Public domain. Provided by author.
Figure 16.9: Dale Cruse (2014). “New Zealand langoustines at Troquet.” CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalecruse/8551895022/
Figure 16.10: Imzadi1979 (2012). “An example of a typical American logo sign.” Public domain photograph. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logo_sign#/media/File:Logo_Sign.svg
Figure 16.11: J. Winters (2008) “A Red Robin Restaurant in Tukwila, Washington.” Public domain photograph. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_Robin_in_Tukwila,_Washington.jpg
Figure 16.12: “Le Procope.” © Michael Rys. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restaurant#/media/File%3AInside_Le_Procope.jpg
Figure 16.13 “The restaurant industry career path” Author’s own work. Licensed CC BY 4.0 .
Figure 16 .15 : JohnSM (2013). “Rafting in Turkey.” Public domain. Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/rafting-turkey-travel-1125213/
Figure 16 .16 : Graph data sources: Statista (2016). “ Number of commercial casinos in the United States from 2005 to 2013.” Retrieved from: http://www.statista.com/statistics/187972/number-of-us-commercial-casinos-since-2005/ and “ Global casino gaming revenue from 2006 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars).” Retrieved from: http://www.statista.com/statistics/271577/global-casino-gaming-market-revenue/ and “ U.S. casino gaming market revenue from 2004 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) .” Retrieved from: http://www.statista.com/statistics/271583/casino-gaming-market-in-the-us/
Figure 16 .17 : Josh Hallett (2009). “ The ‘Big Bang’ at Wishes – Magic Kingdom – Walt Disney World .” CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/3830182777
Figure 16.18: Peter23 (2011). “Beijing National Stadium.” CC BY- SA 3.0 . Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_National_Stadium#/media/File:Beijing_national_stadium.jpg
Figure 16.19 : Skeeze (2014). “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” Public domain. Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/mardi-gras-new-orleans-festival-1176483/
Figure 16 . 20 : Roger W. (2012). “ Charlotte Amalie – Panorama (Postcard) ” CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/24736216@N07/7170231567
Figure 16 . 21 : Dan Perry (2006). “Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.” CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 . Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_club#/media/File:Riviera_Country_Club,_Golf_Course_in_Pacific_Palisades,_California_(168828797).jpg
Video Credits: Chapter 16
Sisyanti, Ling Ling, Wasim Amsal,Ella Qiu, and Rebecca Catherine Stephany. “10 trends in Hospitality and Tourism Industry.” February 6, 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ8Momwv7Qk
References: Chapter 16
Chapter 16 Hospitality & Tourism Copyright © 2018 by Richard Parsons; Stephen Skripak; Anastasia Cortes; Anita Walz; and Gary Walton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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- What is tourism and hospitality?
Tourism and hospitality are thriving industries encompassing many sectors, including hotels, restaurants, travel, events, and entertainment.
It’s an exciting and dynamic area, constantly evolving and adapting to changing customer demands and trends.
The tourism and hospitality industry offers a diverse range of career opportunities that cater to various interests, skills, and qualifications, with positions available from entry-level to executive management.
The booming tourism and hospitality industry also offers job security and career growth potential in many hospitality-related occupations.
What is tourism?
Tourism is traveling for leisure, pleasure, or business purposes and visiting various destinations, such as cities, countries, natural attractions, historical sites, and cultural events, to experience new cultures, activities, and environments.
Tourism can take many forms, including domestic, or traveling within your country, and international tourism, or visiting foreign countries.
It can also involve sightseeing, adventure tourism , eco-tourism, cultural tourism, and business tourism, and it’s a huge contributor to the global economy, generating jobs and income in many countries.
It involves many businesses, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, and transportation companies.
What is hospitality?
Hospitality includes a range of businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, resorts, cruise ships, theme parks, and other service-oriented businesses that provide accommodations, food, and beverages.
Hospitality is all about creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for guests and meeting their needs.
Quality hospitality means providing excellent customer service, anticipating guests’ needs, and ensuring comfort and satisfaction. The hospitality industry is essential to tourism as both industries often work closely together.
What is the difference between tourism and hospitality?
Hospitality and tourism are both related and separate industries. For instance, airline travel is considered as part of both the tourism and hospitality industries.
Hospitality is a component of the tourism industry, as it provides services and amenities to tourists. However, tourism is a broader industry encompassing various sectors, including transportation, accommodation, and attractions.
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Is tourism and hospitality a good career choice?
So, why work in hospitality and tourism? The tourism and hospitality industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, providing a colossal number of job opportunities.
Between 2021 and 2031, employment in the hospitality and tourism industry is projected to expand faster than any other job sector, creating about 1.3 million new positions .
A tourism and hospitality career can be a highly rewarding choice for anyone who enjoys working with people, has a strong service-oriented mindset, and is looking for a dynamic and exciting career with growth potential.
Growth and job opportunities in tourism and hospitality
Tourism and hospitality offers significant growth and job opportunities worldwide. The industry’s increasing demand for personnel contributes to economic and employment growth, particularly in developing countries.
The industry employs millions globally, from entry-level to high-level management positions, including hotel managers, chefs, tour operators, travel agents, and executives.
It provides diverse opportunities with great career progression and skill development potential.
Career paths in tourism and hospitality
There are many career opportunities in tourism management and hospitality. With a degree in hospitality management, as well as relevant experience, you can pursue satisfying and fulfilling hospitality and tourism careers in these fields.
Hotel managers oversee hotel operations. They manage staff, supervise customer service, and ensure the facility runs smoothly.
Tour managers organize and lead group tours. They work for tour companies, travel agencies, or independently. Tour managers coordinate a group’s transportation, accommodations, and activities, ensuring the trip runs to schedule.
Restaurant managers supervise the daily operations of a restaurant. They manage staff, ensure the kitchen runs smoothly, and monitor customer service.
Resort managers supervise and manage the operations of a resort. From managing staff to overseeing customer service, they ensure the entire operation delivers excellence.
Entertainment managers organize and oversee entertainment at venues like hotels or resorts. They book performers, oversee sound and lighting, and ensure guests have a great experience.
Event planners organize and coordinate events, such as weddings, conferences, and trade shows. They work for event planning companies, hotels, or independently.
vent planners coordinate all aspects of the event, from the venue to catering and decor.
Travel consultants help customers plan and book travel arrangements, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars. They work for travel agencies or independently. Travel consultants must know travel destinations and provide superb customer service.
What skills and qualifications are needed for a career in tourism and hospitality?
Tourism and hospitality are rewarding industries with growing job opportunities. Necessary qualifications include excellent skills in communication, customer service, leadership, problem-solving, and organization along with relevant education and training.
Essential skills for success in tourism and hospitality
A career in the tourism and hospitality industry requires a combination of soft and technical skills and relevant qualifications. Here are some of the essential key skills needed for a successful career.
- Communication skills : Effective communication is necessary for the tourism and hospitality industry in dealing with all kinds of people.
- Customer service : Providing excellent customer service is critical to the success of any tourism or hospitality business . This requires patience, empathy, and the ability to meet customers’ needs.
- Flexibility and adaptability : The industry is constantly changing, and employees must be able to adapt to new situations, be flexible with their work schedules, and handle unexpected events.
- Time management : Time management is crucial to ensure guest satisfaction and smooth operations.
- Cultural awareness : Understanding and respecting cultural differences is essential in the tourism and hospitality industry, as you’ll interact with people from different cultures.
- Teamwork : Working collaboratively with colleagues is essential, as employees must work together to ensure guests have a positive experience.
- Problem-solving : Inevitably, problems will arise, and employees must be able to identify, analyze, and resolve them efficiently.
- Technical skills : With the increasing use of technology, employees must possess the necessary technical skills to operate systems, such as booking software, point-of-sale systems, and social media platforms.
Revenue management : Revenue management skills are crucial in effectively managing pricing, inventory, and data analysis to maximize revenue and profitability
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Education and training opportunities in tourism and hospitality
Education and training are vital for a hospitality and tourism career. You can ensure you are prepared for a career in the industry with a Bachelor’s in hospitality management and Master’s in hospitality programs from Glion.
These programs provide a comprehensive understanding of the guest experience, including service delivery and business operations, while developing essential skills such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving. You’ll gain the knowledge and qualifications you need for a successful, dynamic, and rewarding hospitality and tourism career.
Preparing for a career in tourism and hospitality
To prepare for a career in tourism and hospitality management, you should focus on researching the industry and gaining relevant education and training, such as a hospitality degree . For instance, Glion’s programs emphasize guest experience and hospitality management, providing students with an outstanding education that launches them into leading industry roles.
It would help if you also worked on building your communication, customer service, and problem-solving skills while gaining practical experience through internships or part-time jobs in the industry. Meanwhile, attending industry events, job fairs, and conferences, staying up-to-date on industry trends, and networking to establish professional connections will also be extremely valuable.
Finding jobs in tourism and hospitality
To find jobs in tourism and hospitality, candidates can search online job boards, and company career pages, attend career fairs, network with industry professionals, and utilize the services of recruitment agencies. Hospitality and tourism graduates can also leverage valuable alumni networks and industry connections made during internships or industry projects.
Networking and building connections in the industry
Networking and building connections in the hospitality and tourism industry provide opportunities to learn about job openings, meet potential employers, and gain industry insights. It can also help you expand your knowledge and skills, build your personal brand, and establish yourself as a valuable industry professional.
You can start networking by attending industry events, joining professional organizations, connecting with professionals on social media, and through career services at Glion.
Tips for success in tourism and hospitality
Here are tips for career success in the tourism and hospitality industry.
- Gain relevant education and training : Pursue a hospitality or tourism management degree from Glion to gain fundamental knowledge and practical skills.
- Build your network : Attend industry events, connect with colleagues and professionals on LinkedIn, and join relevant associations to build your network and increase your exposure to potential job opportunities.
- Gain practical experience : Look for internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering opportunities to gain practical experience and develop relevant skills.
- Develop your soft skills : Work on essential interpersonal skills like communication, empathy, and problem-solving.
- Stay up-to-date with industry trends : Follow industry news and trends and proactively learn new skills and technologies relevant to tourism and hospitality.
- Be flexible and adaptable : The tourism and hospitality industry constantly evolves, so be open to change and to adapting to new situations and challenges.
- Strive for excellent guest service : Focus on delivering exceptional guest experiences as guest satisfaction is critical for success.
Tourism and hospitality offer many fantastic opportunities to create memorable guest experiences , work in diverse and multicultural environments, and develop transferable skills.
If you’re ready to embark on your career in tourism and hospitality, Glion has world-leading bachelor’s and master’s programs to set you up for success.
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Tourism vs. Hospitality - Decoding the Differences
Bryant & Stratton College Blog Staff
The hospitality and tourism industries are closely connected, but they are not the same thing. Though both connect to travel and leisure, these two industries have distinct differences that need to be understood if you are considering a degree or career in the field. By knowing how they are different, you can choose the right degree that will help you achieve your desired career path.
What is the Difference Between Tourism and Hospitality?
Hospitality is a field that focuses on providing accommodations to visitors at hospitality-related industries, such as hotels, motels, restaurants, cruise ships, country clubs, casinos, and convention centers, while tourism is focused on providing quality attractions and events in order to entice tourists to come.
For each of these fields to be successful, they focus on specific ways to keep people satisfied so they will return. Hospitality businesses must build strong relationships with their guests to not only prevent them from going to a competitor, but to keep them coming back. Many tourism businesses are classified as hospitality businesses as they must also have meaningful relationships, but they are more focused on traveling activities that may include heavy planning and marketing.
What are the Similarities Between Tourism and Hospitality?
Both the hospitality and tourism industries focus on serving people when they travel. These are highly competitive and always-changing fields that require people to be able to adapt to a changing market and work environment. Both tourism and hospitality professionals need to be good marketers to draw potential clients and customers to their industries.
What Jobs are there in the Travel and Tourism Industry?
The travel and tourism industry focuses on helping people plan and execute their travel arrangements. Some jobs in tourism management include:
A travel agent is a great career path for people who majored in tourism. Travel agents work with their clients to plan their trips, so they must be highly organized and have a knowledge of the travel industry so they can book resorts, cruise ships, airline travel, and more for their clients.
Travel agents also assist clients with their travel budgets by calculating travel costs and helping clients choose trips and adventures that fit within their budget. They also can assist clients with getting their passports or other paperwork in order so they can legally travel.
The pay for a travel agent varies because they often earn commissions based on the trips and services they book, as well as the setting they work in. Travel agents can work independently or work with a travel agency, depending on the demand in their area.
A flight attendant works in an airline to help travelers get to their destination safely and comfortably. While travelers often see the simple work of the flight attendant, such as passing out snacks and collecting garbage, flight attendants are also trained on how to help protect passenger safety if something goes wrong.
Flight attendants need to be good at working with people, even those who are not in a good mood or who face frustration when they travel. One of the main benefits of this profession is getting to travel to and explore many destinations around the world.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for flight attendants will increase by 17% from 2019 to 2029, so it is a great time to pursue this career path.
What Jobs Are There in the Hospitality Industry?
Jobs within hotels, restaurants, and event centers tend to fall in the hospitality industry category. Hotel managers, event managers, hotel clerks, bar managers, and chefs are just a few examples in this industry, with details as follows:
A hotel manager makes sure that guests are comfortable during their stay in a hotel or resort. They may have to arrange for blankets or other amenities to be taken to hotel rooms, oversee the employees of the hotel, and ensure that supplies, like soap and shampoo, are ordered in a timely manner. On a resort property, the hotel manager may also be in charge of entertainment. The exact setting or location will dictate exact duties and responsibilities for this role. Overall, it is the manager's job to handle customer service needs that pop up during a guest's stay.
An event manager or event planner helps plan large events to ensure all attendees enjoy the experience. These individuals, like others in the hospitality industry, need to be highly organized. Event managers will plan all of the details, gather bids from venues and vendors, coordinate transportation for attendees, arrange for food, and even connect with local hotels to ensure people have a place to stay. They help their clients manage and maximize their budgets and ensure that everything is ready when the special event starts.
The BLS estimates that this career will grow 8% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than average. Approximately 10,800 new jobs will be created in this field, so it is a great time to consider pursuing a position in event management.
A concierge is employed by a resort or event center to help guests book entertainment and enjoy their stay more fully. These professionals need to know their local area well so they can connect guests to the entertainment options that best fit their tastes and desires for their trip.
Concierge professionals tend to be employed by high-end resorts and luxury hotels. Distinguished guests expect to have someone to help them book their services and are willing to tip well for this service.
Restaurant and Catering Professionals
The hospitality industry is also the industry that covers restaurants and catering services. While those interested in opening a restaurant or catering business will also need to explore foodservice training, training in hospitality will help them understand the customer service side of this industry. These professionals can work anywhere where food and beverage are prepared and served, including hotels, resorts, and restaurants.
Start Your Hospitality or Tourism Journey Today!
If the tourism and hospitality industries are appealing to you, then finding a career in these fields or industry may require further education. Bryant & Stratton College has a number of hospitality degree programs , including associate degrees and diplomas, that can help you get started in this field. Reach out to the admissions team at Bryant & Stratton College to learn more about these programs and to determine if they are the right fit for your career path.
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What’s the difference between Hospitality and Tourism?
This blog is all about the Hospitality and Tourism industry. You will get to know about the vibrant worlds of hospitality and tourism. Here we have also described the scope of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.
In a fast-paced world, the hospitality and tourism industries play an important role in molding people’s experiences and producing enduring memories. These two industries, which are sometimes connected but they are diverse, are critical to the global economy and provide excellent job prospects. This blog will go into the heart of hospitality and tourism, emphasizing their differences, significance, and job opportunities.
Read Also: The Latest Trends & Diversity in Hospitality Management
Table of Contents
How can we define hospitality?
The welcome and gracious reception of visitors, whether they are known or unknown, is the essence of the term “hospitality.” One of the traits of a good host is the ability to make their guests feel at ease and as though they are in their own house. Being hospitable can be demonstrated in various ways, and demonstrating this trait is an essential component of being a decent person. The act of making other people feel welcome and cared for while also displaying compassion and respect is what we mean when we talk about hospitality.
Examples of Hospitality Businesses:
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Hotels (e.g., Hilton, Marriott), Restaurants (e.g., McDonald’s, fine dining establishments), Resorts (e.g., The Ritz-Carlton), and Event Planning Companies (e.g., Wedding planners).
Career Opportunities in Hospitality:
Hotel management, restaurant management, event planning, catering, and customer service.
What is Tourism?
Tourism is the practice of going to interesting locations and staying there for an extended period of time, typically for recreational purposes. Tourists are individuals who participate in tourism activities. Domestic tourism can also be international, and it can be geared toward either leisure or business.
Tourism is “the actions of individuals traveling to and staying in places beyond their customary surroundings for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other objectives,” according to the World Tourism Organization’s definition. In this sense, the term “tourism” refers to an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of pursuits, such as athletics, recreation, arts, culture, and education.
Read Also: Hotel Management Insights: 5 Key Points to Consider
Examples of Tourism Businesses and Attractions:
Tour operators (e.g., Trafalgar Tours, Intrepid Travel), Travel agencies (e.g., Expedia, Kayak), and Tourist attractions (e.g., Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon).
Career Opportunities in Tourism:
Tour guiding, travel agency management, destination marketing, and travel writing.
Which sector, tourism or hospitality, offers more potential for financial gain?
There is no straightforward solution to the question of whether the hotel business or the tourism industry generates more revenue. On the one hand, the hospitality industry is commonly considered to be one of the more secure business sectors because people will always have a need for a place to rest, eat, and drink. On the other hand, tourism is frequently regarded as a more lucrative industry due to the fact that individuals are more likely to make larger purchases while they are on vacation. In the end, it will rely on the particular nation or place in question, as well as the kinds of attractions that are offered there. It’s possible that tourism could be more lucrative in some situations, while hospitality could be more lucrative in others.
Read Also: How to Start a Career in Hospitality Management: A Step-by-Step Guide
There is a significant gap between tourism and hospitality, especially considering the hotel industry. When it comes to providing hospitality, it’s all about making sure the guests are taken care of, that they’re comfortable, and that they have all they require. On the other hand, what matters most in tourism is the overall experience. The tourist is more concerned with seeing new sights and experiencing new activities than with the guests’ comfort level.
What’s the difference between Hospitality & Tourism?
Tourism and hospitality have distinct aims and purposes in their respective fields. The economic and social well-being of the community that plays host to tourists should be a primary concern of the tourism industry. The purpose of providing hospitality is to make the experience of the guest as enjoyable as possible.
The vibrant worlds of hospitality and tourism . Discover their distinctiveness, importance, and diverse career prospects,
Read Also: Exploring the Rewards of a Career in the Tourism Industry
Hospitality and tourism are closely related but distinct industries that boost the world economy. Both offer good income potential, yet they serve distinct interests and careers. Hospitality emphasizes guest experiences, while tourism emphasizes travel and exploration. Your passion and desired world determine your route.
Whether you want to run a five-star hotel, provide delicious food, or lead tourists to fascinating places, your adventure begins in hospitality or tourism. As you enter these fields, remember that your work makes the world more welcoming and fascinating.
What is the key difference between hospitality and tourism?
Hospitality primarily focuses on providing services and amenities to guests and ensuring their comfort and satisfaction, often within an establishment such as a hotel or restaurant. Tourism, on the other hand, encompasses the broader travel industry, including transportation, destinations, and experiences.
What are some career opportunities in the hospitality industry?
The hospitality industry offers a wide range of career options, including hotel management, event planning, restaurant management, and roles in travel agencies. You can pursue careers as hotel managers, chefs, event coordinators, and more.
What types of businesses fall under the category of tourism?
Tourism-related businesses include travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, and attractions like theme parks, museums, and cultural sites. This sector also covers accommodations, such as hotels, resorts, and bed-and-breakfasts.
Why are both hospitality and tourism important to the global economy?
Hospitality and tourism significantly contribute to the global economy by generating revenue, creating jobs, and promoting cultural exchange. These industries play a vital role in economic growth, both on a local and international scale, making them crucial for the overall well-being of nations.
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Diverse careers in hospitality and tourism: match your talents
10th August, 2023
In this article
If you’re passionate about creating great guest and customer experiences, the hospitality and tourism industry offers many exciting career opportunities.
Hospitality and tourism is a booming area with great opportunities to progress or move into more niche areas.
Here, we’ll explore the different jobs in tourism and hospitality and why studying hospitality and tourism can boost your career.
Understanding the hospitality and tourism industry
The hospitality and tourism industry comprises a diverse range of services to deliver attentive fulfillment of customer needs, promote and plan travel and create great customer experiences.
The industry encompasses accommodation, food and drink, transport, events and attractions and plays an important role in the global economy.
What is the hospitality industry?
Hospitality is a vast industry, incorporating businesses focused on delivering services from refreshments to accommodation and transport. It includes hotels, bars, restaurants, resort management , theme parks and cruise ships.
The hospitality industry is about creating a welcoming environment for guests and offering tailored experiences that meet customer needs.
What is the tourism industry?
Tourism is a key part of the hospitality industry and offers services to those traveling for pleasure or business. It can include domestic tourism, where people travel in their home country, and international tourism.
It can also encompass sightseeing, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, business travel and even adventure tours.
Where will a career in hospitality take you?
Learn how a career hospitality opens up a world of opportunities.
Job roles and career paths in hospitality and tourism
There are many jobs in tourism and hospitality. It’s common for hospitality and tourism careers to begin with entry-level roles before progressing to management roles.
What are the different job roles in the hospitality industry?
Hospitality is wonderfully varied. There are plenty of opportunities to develop your career in a wide range of roles, including:
- Concierge: provides guests with information about the hotel and local amenities, assists with bookings and arranging services
- Housekeeping supervisor : oversees the cleaning and maintenance of the hotel
- Front desk agent: takes reservations, handles guest check-ins, deals with guest queries and provides customer service
- Hotel manager : has overall responsibility for the hotel management and operations
- Food and beverage manager: oversee all restaurant operations
- Chef: runs the kitchen at hospitality venues
- Spa manager: manages all spa operations, including services, facilities and staff
- Event coordinator: organizes and plans all types of events
- Sales and marketing manager: develops and implements sales and marketing strategies to promote the business
- Revenue manager: optimizes hotel revenue by managing room rates and inventory
What are the different job roles in the tourism industry?
Tourism offers many job roles with the chance to travel, meet new people and create excellent customer experiences. Here are just a few:
- Travel agent: assists customers with planning and booking travel arrangements
- Tour guide: provides information and guided tours to travelers
- Event planner : organizes conferences and events
- Travel writer : writes articles or blog posts about travel-related topics
- Sales and marketing manager: responsible for creating and implementing strategies to promote tourist and business destinations, attractions or travel services
- Hospitality manager : oversees operations at tourist attractions and visitor destinations
- Adventure tour operator: coordinates and runs outdoor adventure activities and experiences
What are the career pathways for hospitality and tourism?
There are various career pathways in hospitality and tourism, with different roles and levels of responsibility. These pathways typically include:
- Front-line service positions, such as housekeeping and front desk
- Operations and management, including hotel and restaurant manager positions
- Sales and marketing careers
- Event planning and management
- Travel and tourism, which typically includes tour guides and travel agents
- Hospitality technology positions, such as IT managers
What are front-of-house positions?
While the roles will vary depending on the type of hospitality and tourism business, some common front-of-house positions include:
- Guest relations manager
- Front desk agent
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What skills are required for front-of-house roles?
Depending on the type of hospitality and tourism business, front-of-house roles typically require a combination of customer service and technical skills. For example:
- Effective verbal and written communication skills
- Strong customer service skills, such as being attentive, friendly and responsive
- Interpersonal skills, for example, building rapport, actively listening and maintaining professionalism
- Effective problem-solving skills and the ability to think on your feet
- Excellent organization and time management skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong teamwork, collaboration and leadership skills
- Good product and service knowledge
- Proficient at using point of sale (POS) systems if required
Back-of-house roles are those guests typically do not see and are essential for the smooth operations of a hospitality or tourism business.
What are back-of-house positions?
Some of the common back-of-house positions you may find include:
- Food and beverage manager
- Pastry chef
- Purchasing manager
- Housekeeping staff
- Facilities manager
- Maintenance technician
- Sales and marketing
- Finance and revenue management
What skills are required for back-of-house roles?
Some of the core skills for back-of-house roles include:
- Collaboration and communication
- Detail orientation
- Ability to work to strict and changing deadlines
- Good motivational and delegation skills
- A proactive attitude
- Exceptional teamwork and leadership skills
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Management and leadership roles
Management and leadership roles in hospitality and tourism involve overseeing departments. These roles are typically responsible for hiring, training and managing staff.
What are the management and leadership roles in the hospitality and tourism industry?
Here are some examples of common management and leadership roles in the hospitality and tourism industry:
- Hotel general manager
- Front office manager
- Event manager
- Spa manager
- Sales and marketing manager
- Revenue manager
- Human resources manager
- Property manager
- Maintenance manager
When it comes to the difference between hotel management and hospitality management you need to know that while hotel management is focused on hotel operations, hospitality management is much broader.
Hospitality management encompasses a wider range of services and sectors such as restaurants, tourism and event planning.
How can you progress to managerial positions?
There are several different ways you can progress to managerial positions in the hospitality and tourism industry, for example:
Qualifications and training
A degree in hospitality management or a related field will give you valuable knowledge, strong hospitality management skills and experience managing departments.
It provides an excellent foundation and puts you on the right path to a successful career in hospitality and tourism management. Hospitality internships will also give you crucial hands-on training and experience.
Gain relevant industry experience
Working in entry-level roles will give you a solid introduction to the industry and an understanding of different operational aspects of the business.
Look out for internal job opportunities where you’re currently working. Consider your current role and the positions above it and think about what path you can take that will make the best use of your skills and experience to climb the career ladder.
Securing a management position
Once you’ve built up skills and experience, it may be the right time to ask your employer about advancing to a managerial role. If there aren’t any suitable vacancies in your current workplace, you may need to consider moving somewhere new.
Specialized and niche careers
Specialized and niche careers in hospitality and tourism cater to specific areas of the industry, requiring specific knowledge in the respective area.
What are some specialized careers in hospitality and tourism?
Specialized careers in hospitality and tourism offer a variety of exciting opportunities, such as:
- Travel consultant : help customers find accommodation, transport, dining and entertainment
- Sommelier : manage a business’s wine inventory and service staff and share your passion and expertise with customers
- Luxury travel advisor : curate bespoke travel experiences for high-end travelers, including personalized recommendations
- Culinary tourism specialist: develop and lead culinary tours and share your knowledge of local cuisine and food traditions to create immersive culinary experiences
- Adventure tour guide: lead and guide travelers on adventurous outdoor activities such as hiking or wildlife safaris
- Sustainable tourism consultant: promote environmentally friendly practices within tourism, advising businesses on socially responsible strategies.
- Destination wedding planner: organize and coordinate weddings at specific destinations
How can you pursue a niche career in the industry?
Start by immersing yourself in your chosen niche, researching industry trends and practices and the specific skills required. You may need to gain a particular qualification or embark on training for the knowledge and skills you need.
Internships, part-time roles and volunteering can help you gain hands-on experience, develop a deeper understanding of the niche and make valuable contacts. Specialist careers typically have limited job openings and you may have to start in an entry-level position to gain experience.
Education and training for hospitality and tourism careers
A degree in hospitality management and tourism is an ideal foundation for a rewarding career in hospitality and tourism. There are also certificate programs, industry training and internships to enhance your skills and experience.
What education is required for careers in hospitality and tourism?
For an entry-level position, you’ll usually require a high school diploma or equivalent and then on-the-job training.
For more advanced positions, you can expect to need a hotel management degree . If you’re interested in managerial roles, it’s a good idea to consider a master’s degree.
Skills and qualities for success in hospitality and tourism
For a career in hospitality and tourism, you need a range of skills, such as:
- Customer service
- Complaint handling
- Time management
Exploring high-paying and prestigious career paths
Top hotel brands offer a number of exciting, prestigious and high-paying career paths. These businesses have a reputation for offering exceptional service and the ultimate guest experience. Here are some examples of high-paying and notable career paths:
- Hotel manager: responsible for hotel operations, ensuring guest satisfaction, managing staff and optimizing revenue. Salary range: $93,000 to $138,000 .
- Food and beverage manager: manages the business’s food and beverage operations, including menu planning, maintaining quality and customer experiences. Salary range: $66,000 to $93,000 .
- Event manager : coordinates and hosts events, including corporate functions and weddings. They must handle budgets, manage vendors and deal with logistics. Salary range: $94,000 to $1 21,000.
- Sales and marketing manager: drives revenue by promoting the business, attracts customers by devising marketing strategies and manages sales teams. Salary range: $94,000 to $125,000
How to pursue a career in luxury hospitality management
For a successful career in the exclusive world of luxury hospitality management, you need a recognized luxury management degree from a prestigious hospitality school and, importantly, hands-on experience in a luxury hospitality business.
It will also help you advance if you’ve already begun building a professional network and developing specialized skills to bring to your role.
Embark on a thriving career in hospitality and tourism with a hospitality degree
Whether you’re interested in working front-of-house with customers or prefer to be back of house, the career options in hospitality and tourism are vast. Explore our range of hospitality and tourism courses and begin your journey to a rewarding career in hospitality and tourism. Whether you’re new to the industry or want to take your career to the next level, we can help you succeed.
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Welcome to Les Roches
- Hospitality Industry
Top 10 hospitality and tourism soft skills
June 28, 2019 •
4 min reading
While management ‘hard’ skills like accounting, financial analysis and marketing are essential skill sets for hospitality & tourism managers, soft skills are of paramount importance for succeeding in what is first and foremost a ‘people business’.
These hospitality soft skills involve not only direct interaction with clients, but also the management of teams whose goal is to satisfy customers in what is most decidedly a labour-intensive industry.
So what are 10 essential soft skills that a future hospitality and tourism manager should master?
1. customer service skills.
It should never be forgotten that it’s the customer who provides the funds to pay salaries and other expenses which allow a hotel or restaurant to remain profitable and reinvest in its infrastructure. Thus, it is essential that employees and managers succeed in satisfying and even delighting customers . Excellent customer service skills is all about understanding the customer’s needs and being able to deliver a positive customer service experience.
2. Networking skills
One of the key skills needed in the hospitality industry is to be able to network effectively. Unlike many other sectors of business, networking in this field is not about job-hopping, but is rather a way to stimulate repeat business from customers . Building a loyal clientele who are interested in returning to the hotel/restaurant/tour will, in the long run, also enhance one’s career. Of course, it’s also important to be able to demonstrate to employers that customers are returning thanks to the relationship cultivated with them. Learning to use language that employers like to hear, such as ‘client relationship management’ and ‘guest relations’ during job interviews, can enhance one’s chances of being hired.
3. Communication skills
Exceptional communication skills are highly valued in most industries and the higher up one gets in the hierarchy, the more important they become. In the hospitality and tourism business, each day can involve contacts with people of a variety of backgrounds, ages, nationalities and temperaments. Thus, it is important to be able to communicate in a way that represents the business while at the same time speaking to customers in a way that they can understand and relate to.
4. Flexibility skills
Compared to other professions, hospitality and tourism jobs often demand that employees work odd hours like nights and weekends. It is also necessary to be able switch rapidly from one task to another as the situation may arise. Thus, flexibility is an essential attribute to succeed in the hospitality and tourism sector.
5. Organizational skills
Organizational skills are at a premium in the hospitality and tourism trade. Given the need to multi-task and respond to spur-of -the-moment requests, it is necessary to maintain an organizational structure so as to be able to accomplish daily tasks in an efficient manner. One piece of advice: plan each day ahead keeping a checklist of things that need to be done. This will also help you develop strong time management skills.
6. Language skills
Language skills are a particular plus in the hospitality field as they increase one’s value as an employee. Speaking clients’ language enables one to establish a more intimate relationship with them which promotes customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It may sound trite to mention this one, but it can be noted that many young people start out in the hospitality field with an enthusiastic outlook, but don’t realize how demanding the work is and consequently get bored quickly. If they fail to understand that their job is to keep clients happy no matter the cost, such individuals will never progress beyond entry-level jobs.
8. Can-do attitude
It is essential that hospitality professionals be prepared to accept challenges in the workplace no matter how difficult the task may appear. Resolving a difficult situation for an employer boosts one’s chances of getting a pay rise and /or a promotion. Exuding enthusiasm for one’s job, instead of being sour, will enhance one’s esteem both from customers and employers. For example, Kurt Ritter, the former CEO of Rezidor Hotels (and a graduate of the Ecole hôteliere de Lausanne), adopted the motivational tagline of “Yes, I can!” for his staff.
9. Multitasking skills
Being able to fulfill multiple roles in a hospitality or tourism enterprise is a way for employees to render themselves indispensable to their employers. It’s important to be able to juggle different tasks simultaneously , while completing each task assigned. Thus the ability to multitask may be one of the most important skills in this industry. One way for students to get a head start in developing their ability to multitask is to work on the side while pursuing their studies.
10. Cultural awareness
Hospitality and tourism enterprises are more likely than most to deal with customers of a variety of nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The ability to be culturally aware and get past one’s own cultural norms is crucial to building a successful career in this sector.
Typically customers will not always share the same values, belief systems and perceptions, so it’s important to break free from cultural barriers. Cultural awareness is an essential social skill that will help customers feel comfortable and at home with their surroundings. The goal is satisfy their needs and wants, so as to turn them into repeat customers.
Lecturer and International Career Coordinator at EHL Passugg
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Top 10 Hospitality Careers: Job Descriptions and Salary Ranges
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- Degree * Destination Marketing and Management Event Leadership, MS Event Management Financial Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry Hospitality and Tourism Management, MS Hospitality and Tourism Technologies Hospitality Management, BS Leadership and Strategy in Hospitality and Tourism Lifestyle Community Management, BS Lodging and Restaurant Management, BS Travel Technology and Analytics, MS
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Working in hospitality means cultivating unforgettable experiences for people all over the globe. In the U.S. alone, tourists spent $3 billion every day in 2018, according to the U.S. Travel Association. This included both business and leisure spending –– on travel and lodging, sightseeing, entertainment, and food and beverage. While certain holidays and vacation weeks tend to draw the biggest crowds, tourism remains a year-round industry. Many businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry operate all day, every day for the entirety of the year.
When the hospitality and tourism industries move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will continue to be a demand for careers in the field. To pursue these opportunities with confidence, individuals would do well to equip themselves with a degree in tourism and hospitality management, like one of UCF Online’s hospitality degrees . Tourism and hospitality management degrees prepare students to enter a variety of hospitality careers. Graduates can advance their careers at exciting venues that include hotels, cruise ships, amusement parks, catering halls, casinos, restaurants, and more. Managing those businesses takes a special blend of skills, knowledge, and expertise, which individuals can develop with the right degree. What positions can graduates pursue? Read on to find out.
Jump Into an Exciting Career in Hospitality
There are many careers one can get into with a degree in hotel and tourism management. Here are 10 terrific options that could lead you to exciting careers throughout the country, and even abroad.
Hotel Manager Careers
Every hotel wants their guests to have a perfect stay. The hotel manager’s job is to make sure that happens and to fix any issues that arise when it doesn’t. Hotel managers need to be big-picture problem-solvers who can think quickly on their feet, keep a level head when dealing with difficult customers and situations, and motivate their employees to reach and maintain high standards. Hotel managers oversee the operations of facilities from smaller boutique inns through mega-destination resorts, with their job duties determined by the size of the hotel and staff.
Not only do hotel managers train and oversee staff, but they are often responsible for booking large groups and events, ensuring that catering operations run smoothly, and stay on top of maintenance and cleaning. In larger hotels and resorts, different managers might split these duties, each overseeing a specific department.
Restaurant Manager Careers
While chefs might receive much of the attention for the work they do in the kitchen, restaurant managers ensure that those chefs have supplies, support, and guests to serve. Restaurant managers are usually responsible for training and staffing the restaurant, creating budgets and marketing, ordering new equipment, and handling large parties or reservations. In some restaurants, they may even be in charge of menu changes and food ordering. Restaurant managers often work long hours, communicate clearly with patrons, co-workers, and suppliers, and use their eye for detail to meet the specific demands of a fast-paced industry.
Events Manager Careers
The best events managers are so good at their jobs, nobody knows they are there. Their job is to plan and facilitate large events, ensuring that the attendees enjoy the event as much as possible. Events include concerts, conventions, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, parades, and charity balls. Event managers might be self-employed entrepreneurs, work for hotels and resorts, or within municipalities and local governments. Planning events on such a scale can require a team of planning specialists, all under the direction of the events manager. They meet with clients to create a vision for the event, then work with vendors, venues, catering staff, entertainers, and others to make the event come to life. This intricate job includes obtaining permits for use of public space, working with caterers to feed hundreds or thousands of people, arrange entertainment, facilitate staffing, sales, and marketing. If all goes to plan, the event runs smoothly, and the manager can enjoy the satisfaction of their clients having an unforgettable time.
Casino Manager Careers
Casino work presents a fun and interesting challenge in the world of hospitality careers. Casinos can be loud, energetic?, and full of activity, with tables and slot machines running around the clock. They are often connected to hotels and resorts which include multiple restaurants, retail outlets, and entertainment venues. Casino managers are responsible for the operations of the casino itself, including the games and employees that work the floor. It’s their job to have a thorough knowledge of customer demand for different gaming options, adjusting constantly to maximize both consumer enjoyment as well as profits. They are also responsible for hiring and training employees, including dealers, waitstaff, shift supervisors, and pit bosses. In a business with so much money changing hands, casino managers need to be especially vigilant of all moving parts.
Cruise Director Careers
This is a career where you’ll definitely need your sea legs. Cruise directors serve on cruise ships, where it’s their job to oversee the entertainment operations onboard. Modern cruise ships can serve upwards of four or five thousand people in a single trip, many of whom will spend a lot of time onboard, enjoying all that the ship offers by way of food and entertainment. Cruises often feature musicians and stage acts, and have established casinos, sports facilities, arcades, pools, lounges, restaurants, and bars. When cruises stop at ports of call, customers often go on excursions, exploring the local attractions. Cruise directors must have detailed knowledge of each port, making sure they can point clients towards fun and safe onshore activities. These hospitality professionals set the schedule of activities, evaluate their success, and make changes to the cruise’s entertainment choices to maximize enjoyment while staying on budget.
Executive Chef Careers
Chefs and cooks who want to advance in their careers can pursue a hospitality degree to earn an executive chef position. Executive chefs, in short, run the kitchen. While chefs are responsible solely for cooking high-quality food, executive chefs also manage all kitchen staff. Their duties include making hiring and firing decisions, staying on top of food ordering and costs, setting menu prices, making changes to the menu, and determining daily specials. Executive chefs must have years of culinary training and on-the-job experience, and typically also have a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts or hospitality. Education is especially important for chefs who want to work at a high-end or Michelin-starred restaurant, where they put their learned skills in management and operations to work. UCF Online’s Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management can help chefs develop the leadership skills necessary for this position. Working as an executive chef means working long hours, including nights and weekends, in a fast-paced environment. For those who thrive in such an environment, the job can also be quite financially and emotionally rewarding.
Food and Beverage Director Careers
Large restaurants, or hotels and resorts with restaurants, offer many careers in hospitality, like food and beverage directors. Professionals in this position collaborate with restaurant managers and executive chefs. Food and beverage directors order ingredients and supplies, and monitor costs and expenditures. They work with chefs to create menus, ensuring the restaurant can keep a creative focus while also staying realistic about budget, costs, and menu prices. They also oversee food preparation and storage, ensuring that their restaurant is compliant with health and safety codes. At some establishments, food and beverage directors also work with bartenders and liquor distributors to create and showcase on-trend drinks, helping to maximize profits while keeping patrons excited about their options.
Director of Catering Careers
Catering exists at the intersection of cooking and event planning. Directors of Catering must plan to feed large groups of people simultaneously, overseeing a staff that’s capable of producing hundreds — if not thousands — of meals during a single event. Catering directors must have an in-depth understanding of food costs and be able to estimate food consumption based on factors like the size of the group and the duration of the event. They have an understanding of bulk purchasing, preparation times, storage availability, food costs, and cook times. By accounting for these many factors, they help to eliminate waste and maximize profits.
Attractions Manager Careers
All over the globe, tourist attractions draw crowds. People gather at amusement parks, landmarks, historical sites, and monuments to learn, celebrate, or simply take in the sight. Attractions managers run operations that enhance visitors’ experiences. At a national park, for example, the attractions manager might oversee staffing and park ranger training, control crowd size and flow, and oversee safety operations. At a historical site, they are often responsible for overseeing educators, managing budgets, interacting with the media, and working with local businesses to promote events. Attractions managers are energetic multi-taskers who thrive on creating great visitor experiences while tending to the needs and considerations of their staff.
Social Media Strategist Careers
Social media strategists are pivotal in every industry in today’s hyper-connected world. Roles like this one are increasingly important in travel and hospitality, as more and more people research and book their accommodations online. Social media strategists promote their clients (whether a resort, a tour company, a hotel, or other business) online, connecting them with viable customers and determining the best ways to appeal to them through social channels. In order to build a social media following, these digitally savvy hospitality experts might create promotions and develop online-exclusive deals. In the modern world, the right social media strategy helps businesses thrive, and the social media strategist is a key part of that. Earning the right skills in digital marketing and development through a certificate like UCF Online’s Hospitality and Tourism Technologies Certificate program offers aspiring social media strategists in the hospitality industry a deep understanding of digital marketing.
Average Pay for Hospitality Careers
Almost all hospitality careers pay a median salary of around $50,000, though some can bring in as much as $100,000 per year. How much you earn may vary depending on the job itself, your level of experience, and even your geographic region.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports on the median annual salary of a few specific careers within the hospitality industry, as of May 2018. Based on these reports, chefs earn approximately $48,460 annually, food service managers earn $54,240, lodging managers earn $53,390, and meeting and event planners earn about $49,370. PayScale.com reports that the average annual salary for casino managers is $102,494, the highest number in the group. PayScale also maintains annual salary data for food and beverage directors ($67,216), catering directors ($59,685), cruise directors ($57,676), social media strategists ($51,869), and attractions managers ($42,979).
Get Started With an Online Hospitality Degree from UCF
All of these careers can put you in a fast-paced, rewarding position that allows you to make people’s lives more enjoyable while putting to use your communication, collaborative, and organizational skills. One of UCF Online’s hospitality degrees , such as our new online Bachelor of Science in Restaurant & Foodservice Management , Bachelor of Science in Senior Living Management , or Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management , can open up possibilities in the field, and help you land the job you want.
Online Hospitality Degrees at UCF
- Destination Marketing and Management
- Event Leadership, MS
- Event Management
- Financial Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
- Hospitality and Tourism Management, MS
- Hospitality and Tourism Technologies
- Hospitality Management, BS
- Leadership and Strategy in Hospitality and Tourism
- Lifestyle Community Management, BS
- Lodging and Restaurant Management, BS
- Travel Technology and Analytics, MS
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