Welcome to the hospitality business
Glion has delivered talent to the international hospitality and luxury industries since we opened our doors in 1962.
So let us introduce you to these glamorous, global, and hugely important business sectors.
We will look at the different disciplines within hospitality management and luxury management, plus we’ll explain how world class hospitality degrees can open up a world of career possibilities – including some industries and sectors that might surprise you.
An introduction to the hospitality business
You will also see it called the hospitality industry, or hospitality sector, but each definition means the same thing: providing customers with a warm welcome, excellent service and experiences to cherish.
Memorable experiences don’t happen by accident – behind each one is a host of human factors; from the professional polish learned on the job, through to the strong theoretical foundation that comes from a specialist degree in hospitality business.
While it primarily covers travel and tourism (flights, hotels, restaurants and bars, cruise ships, etc.), the hospitality business encompasses all this too:
- Major events
- Conferences and trade fairs
- Hotel real estate investment/development
- Innovation and technology
- Experience economy (in particular creating and delivering unique luxury experiences to ‘high net worth’ clients)
“Hospitality is an incredibly rewarding sector, a continuous strategic journey that never stops, where no day is the same, challenging you and taking you out of your comfort zone.”
Daniel Solombrino, class of 2008 BBA graduate
What types of careers are on offer in the hospitality business?
There are almost unlimited opportunities to forge successful careers in the hospitality business, as well as the constellation of related industries which orbits around it.
With their mixture of practical and educational experience, business knowledge and soft skills, specialized hospitality degrees naturally offer a pathway to a career in hospitality, but also opportunities to succeed in a surprisingly diverse range of sectors.
These include (but are not limited to):
- Travel & tourism – thome of many hospitality careers. Includes hotel management, also restaurants, bars, cruise lines and more
- Retail & fashion – in particular luxury brands where personal service and relationship building are key
- Sports & leisure – including event management and roles at global sporting organizations
- Spa & wellness – wellness tourism is among the fastest-growing sectors of the global wellness industry
- Media & marketing – with career prospects both within and outside the hospitality sector
- Digital technology platforms – from online travel agents to bespoke hotel revenue management tools
- Financial services & consultancy – notably private banking and other customer-centric business lines
Such are the options available with a degree in hospitality business, that almost 60% of graduates end up working in fields other than hospitality management.
And while many individuals seek the buzz of an operational or customer-facing environment, the soft skills acquired from a hospitality degree are also highly prized for corporate office/head office roles.
Why does service excellence create such a diversity of opportunities?
The answer is that in our increasingly digital-dominated and commoditized world, service excellence – the human touch – is recognized by brands as a crucial way to make their offer stand out from the crowd.
Today, the soft skills – like critical thinking – that come as standard with a degree in hospitality business are sought after by employers who have customer-facing operations. Luxury retail, consulting, asset management… these are all genuine career avenues for hospitality business management graduates.
But don’t just take our word for it. There are now more than 15,000 Glion Alumni out in the professional world, and you can get a better perspective on the breadth of career paths available by hearing some of their stories.
How do I start a career in the hospitality business?
Getting a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality business is a great way to launch hospitality careers. There are numerous specialist hospitality schools, including Glion, which have created bespoke degree programs combining practical skills and business knowledge. Many will also incorporate hospitality internships providing hands-on experience.
For career changers
If you are looking to switch careers into hospitality business management, your path can be smoothed by studying a specialized graduate degree program, such as a Master’s, which delivers a more intensive and detailed educational experience focused on a specific topic. It’s a perfect way to build your hospitality business leadership skill.
Different career pathways after entry
As you build your career in hospitality, you can generally expect to start on the operational side of a hotel or other hospitality business – ‘rooms division’ or ‘front of house’, for example. This provides the essential hands-on experience of business operations as you build towards more senior hotel management roles, and ultimately to the position of General Manager.
Within the spectrum of hospitality business management, you also have the option to pursue a specialist ‘back office’ function, such as marketing and PR, human resources, revenue management, and so on. This is where the soft skills you’ve learned, such as critical thinking, become especially valuable.
Your aim should be to join a Manager in Training (MIT) program, different variations of which are offered by all the major players in the hotel industry. With a career-focused undergraduate or graduate degree program from an internationally-recognized school of hospitality business, you will be a strong candidate for selection.
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