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Hospitality and tourism careers how to get started

Hospitality and tourism are two related industries that offer a wide variety of career paths. Hospitality is typically defined as the provision of services, goods and experiences for travelers or visitors in exchange for payment.

It includes lodging, restaurants, cruise ship lines, event planning, transportation, amusement parks, and other services that cater to people’s needs and wants when traveling.

Tourism encompasses the activities of people who travel to and stay in locations for leisure and recreation, for business, or for other purposes.

It includes everything from international jet-setting holidays to trips to visit family members.

Hospitality and tourism are two of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. These industries have been estimated to generate an average of 9.5% of GDP in G20 countries (except during the pandemic).

The industry employs millions of people worldwide in a variety of roles. Hospitality and tourism careers offer job seekers the opportunity to use their skills in customer service, sales, marketing, management, and many other areas.

Hospitality careers in hotels

Hotels offer a variety of career paths for those interested to work for a hospitality business. Hospitality careers in hotels can include the following roles.

  • Front desk staff: Usually the first person a guest interacts with. They are responsible for greeting guests, answering questions, taking reservations, and providing information.
  • Housekeeping: Housekeepers clean guest rooms and public areas, to ensure a comfortable and safe stay for each guest.
  • Food and beverage: This includes staff who prepare meals as well as those who serve them in the restaurant or other food establishments onsite.
  • Sales and marketing: These roles involve promoting the hotel or other services to guests, creating promotional materials and campaigns as well as coordinating events.
  • Management: Those in hotel management oversee all aspects of hotel operations including staffing, budgeting, customer service, and more. They ensure that all guest services run smoothly.

Food and beverage

Food and beverage service is a vital part of the hospitality industry and offers many career opportunities such as these.

  • Chef: Chefs are responsible for the preparation and presentation of food in restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars, and other establishments.
  • Sommelier: A sommelier is an expert on wine who helps customers select wines to accompany their meals as well as providing advice and education.
  • Bartender: Bartenders prepare and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to customers in bars, pubs, restaurants, and other establishments.
  • Server: This role in the food and beverage industry involves taking orders, bringing food and beverages to guests, clearing tables, providing customer service, and more.
  • Management: Managerial roles in a bar or restaurant (for instance a beverage manager or restaurant manager) involve overseeing the day-to-day operations of the establishment, recruiting and training staff, handling customer complaints, and more.

Travel and tourism

Anastasiia Krivenok/[Moment via Getty Images

Travel and tourism also offer a wide range of career opportunities.

  • Tour guide: This role involves providing guidance and information to tourists visiting a destination. It requires local knowledge to offer insight into the culture, attractions, and history of the area.
  • Travel agent: Travel agents help individuals or groups plan trips by booking transportation, accommodation, and other services. They also provide advice on destinations and activities.
  • Event planner: An event planner is responsible for organizing and executing events such as conferences, meetings, weddings, or business events.
  • Management: Managers in the travel and tourism industry are responsible for overseeing staff, budgets, and operations as well as adhering to regulations. They also ensure customer satisfaction.

Tourism careers

Some popular tourism-related occupations include roles in the following areas.


The types of attractions in this category vary greatly.

Those working in this sector of the tourism industry can take up roles in theme parks, zoos, aquariums, national parks, and more. Attractions management roles involve overseeing the day-to-day operations of a tourist destination, for example, managing staff, budgets and customer experience.


Transportation is a key part of the tourism industry and involves providing transport services from one place to another. Roles include working as airline staff, train and bus operators, or at car rental companies.

It also includes positions in the cruise line industry.

If you’re looking to move into a managerial role in this sector, transportation management positions can offer an excellent opportunity to take on an important role in tourism development.

You could manage anything from a fleet of vehicles to an entire public transport network. With experience and qualifications, you may even be able to direct operations for a major air carrier or ground transportation company.

Travel and tourism services

Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision] via Getty Images

The travel and tourism industry is made up of many different types of services which provide a variety of products to customers.

  • Tour operators offer packages for individual or group trips including transportation, accommodation, and activities.
  • Travel agencies help customers plan and book their own trips.
  • Destination marketing organizations promote regions or destinations to stimulate tourism.

You could work in a managerial role to oversee the operations of any of these services or even specialize in a particular area such as sustainable tourism, also called ecotourism, adventure tourism, or cultural tourism.

Career advancement and professional development

The travel and tourism industry offers a range of career progression opportunities.

If you have the right qualifications, skills and experience, you can move up the ranks to take on more senior roles such as director or manager within any area of the industry – whether it’s a travel agency director, hotel manager or similar role.

How do I get started with hospitality and tourism jobs?

Getting started in the hospitality and tourism industry means having the right qualifications. Hospitality degrees or diplomas in a relevant field such as business, tourism management, or travel are essential to secure a mid to high-level role in the industry.

Do you want an exciting career in the hospitality and tourism industry?

A Bachelor of Hospitality Management is a superb way to launch your career. With this degree, you’ll be expertly equipped to work in this exciting and fast-paced industry and land one of your dream jobs in hospitality. By learning at a top hospitality school in Switzerland, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to develop your credentials and make a difference in this sector.

Bachelor of hospitality management

It’s also important to build up your network by joining industry associations and attending relevant events to meet potential employers and stay up to date with the latest trends.

Another thing to bear in mind is to stay abreast of evolving hospitality technology, trends, regulations, laws, and best practices. These hospitality trends 2023 can give you an idea of where the industry is heading.

With the right qualifications, drive and dedication, you can make your mark in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Earning potential in hospitality and tourism

Earning potential in hospitality and tourism can vary greatly depending on your role, skillset, qualifications, and experience.

Those in managerial roles tend to be the highest earners, but even entry-level positions can provide a good income. It’s also often possible to earn bonuses and tips in this sector depending on performance. As your skills and experience increase, so too will your earning potential.

According to the International Labour Organization, the industry is growing around 3% a year. So, job growth in the hospitality and tourism sector is expected to remain strong in the coming years.

What Is the earning potential for hospitality and tourism careers?

The earning potential for careers in hospitality and tourism can vary greatly depending on your role, qualifications and experience.

In the US, people working in hospitality and tourism earn an average salary of $76,892 annually or $36.97 an hour.

Those who are just starting out can expect to make a minimum of $60,000 yearly, while the most experienced workers can earn up to $121,185 per year.

This goes to show that careers with business management degree in hospitality and tourism can be both lucrative and rewarding. Feeling inspired? Why not take a look at the top 5 reasons to work in hospitality?


The hospitality and tourism industry offers a wide range of rewarding career opportunities for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field. With the right qualifications, skills, and experience, you can move up the ranks to take on more senior roles or specialize in a particular area.

There is also attractive earning potential within the industry, and job growth is expected to remain strong in the coming years. So why not start exploring your options today?

Photo credits
Main image: Thomas Barwick/ DigitalVision via Getty Images

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