If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like the idea of a conventional 9 to 5 job and who craves variety and thrill in life, the Hospitality & Tourism industry could offer some great vocational options for you. Keep reading to know more.
The Hospitality & Tourism sector offers a range of exciting careers in many different specializations. There are several job opportunities available, and as a hospitality & tourism professional, you could find employment at a hotel, a restaurant, an airline, at a resort, and at other hospitality businesses. In fact, you can even start your own hospitality or tourism business or find part-time work as a travel guide or consultant.
Is it for me?
Perhaps the most important trait a Hospitality & Tourism professional must possess is good people skills. No matter what particular specialization you opt for, or where you work, the ultimate aim is to ensure that guests and patrons go away satisfied. Other vital traits are the ability to thrive in stressful situations, patience, ability to follow instructions, and being able to defuse conflict.
Hospitality & Tourism professionals can find work in several areas of the tourism sector – from hotels and restaurants, to airlines and travel agents, and even at eco-tourism operators and theme parks. You can also seek specialization in a particular field such as eco-tourism or travel bookings and billing.
Most jobs in this sector operate on the shift system and you might have to get used to working on weekends or during the holidays. Being asked to work in other cities and in far-off locations is also common in this profession – This is a global industry and many of the larger hotel and holiday chains have operations across the world , and for this reason, Hospitality & Tourism can be a great career for those who’d like to see the world!
What do I have to study?
You can opt from a range of certificate, diploma, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and even Master’s courses in this field. The subjects you study depend upon the specialization you choose and the course level:
- Food & Beverage Management: This is for you if you’d like to work in a restaurant, a bar, or get involved with the food & beverage aspect of this field
- Lodging Management: This specializations suits those who’d like to get involved with the lodging aspects of Hospitality & Tourism Management
- Travel Bookings: Airlines and travel agents also seek trained professionals who are well-acquainted with the tourism industry’s unique booking systems and software.
- Other: While F&B Management and Lodging Management are the most popular specializations, there are many more that can help you gain entry into other niches – such as eco-tourism, event management, adventure tourism, etc.
However, there are some subjects that can be considered ‘core’ Hospitality & Tourism topics – you’ll definitely encounter these in most courses:
- Front office operations
- Food service operations
- Leisure management
- Event management
- Customer service & conflict resolution
- Hospitality law and ethics
- Computer applications for the Hospitality & Tourism industry
Apart from this, most courses will include a period of on-the-job training; many of the bigger hotel and restaurant chains also hold their own training programs to acquaint new employees with their operations and corporate culture.
What are my career options?
With people increasingly spending more on vacations and dining out, the long-term prospects for this career appear quite good. It’s also possible for people with other qualifications to opt for a career in the Hospitality & Tourism industry – even doctors, accountants, customer service personnel, engineers, etc.
The list of employers and career options for Hospitality & Tourism professionals is almost endless – airlines, hotels, spas, restaurants, tour operators, cruise ships, theme parks, travel agents, and many, many more!
One of the attractive career growth aspects of this line of work is that your experience counts for a lot and can help you rise to senior positions. You can also opt for a higher-level course such as Hospitality Management to improve your career prospects. Many Hospitality & Tourism professionals also set up their own businesses or seek work as consultants.