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Careers in hospitality and tourism: Job list of opportunities for learning and travel

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The hospitality and tourism industry is booming thanks to accessible international travel and consumers’ enthusiasm for discovering new places.

Continuing growth in the industry means there is an enticing range of career paths in hospitality and tourism you can consider when deciding on your future, such as event manager, luxury manager, marketing manager, and more.

If you’re curious about what type of role might be best for you, there are plenty of options that combine exciting opportunities for personal development and working around the world.

In this article, we’ll go over the different hospitality and tourism career pathways you could aim towards.
We’ll also discuss what the different roles entail and how you can gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in hospitality and tourism.

What is a hospitality and tourism career?

Career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry include a wide range of roles and responsibilities. The hospitality field revolves around providing exceptional experiences for guests and travelers.

While the stereotype may portray hospitality as simply serving drinks or waiting tables, the reality is far more varied. Hospitality is all about providing services and amenities to guests, ensuring their comfort, satisfaction, and enjoyment during their stay. This includes accommodations such as hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, as well as food and beverage services, event planning, entertainment, and recreational activities.

Tourism involves the travel activities of individuals and groups for leisure, business, or other purposes. It encompasses everything from sightseeing and adventure tourism to cultural exchanges and eco-tourism.

A career in hospitality and tourism can take many forms, depending on one’s interests, skills, and qualifications. You can find everything from entry-level roles to managerial and executive careers, which are ideal roles for a lot of people.

Why pursue a career in the industry?

With tourism and hospitality booming there are more reasons than ever before to consider a career path in this rewarding sector.

Hospitality venues are keen to employ skilled and qualified individuals who can help their businesses thrive. The industry itself can be an exciting and endlessly interesting area to work in.

In this field, you’ll get to work with people from all over the world. You’ll also be able to work in a range of appealing locations since hospitality is truly a global industry. It’s also a great option for people who like to challenge themselves to continuously improve.

Find your path to success: hospitality and tourism jobs list

There are plenty of different employment opportunities in tourism and the hospitality industry, meaning that there are roles that suit everyone. Explore the wide array of opportunities available in this exciting industry as we look at a list of careers in hospitality and tourism, each offering pathways to success and fulfillment.

Hotel operations

This is a catch-all term that encompasses the various departments and functions within a hotel that work together to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the establishment. From front-of-house services that directly interact with guests to back-of-house operations that support the overall infrastructure, hotel operations are essential for delivering exceptional guest experiences.

What different hotel operations jobs are there?

Hotel operations roles include everything that makes a hotel run smoothly. These include:

  • Front desk agent/receptionist
  • Front of house manager
  • Concierge
  • Housekeeping
  • Food and beverage service
  • Food and beverage management
  • Revenue management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Engineering and maintenance management
  • General manager

Every department will have a hotel management role associated with it, such as the front of house manager overseeing all front desk agents and receptionists. At the very top is the general manager or executive manager, who ensures that all these different departments run smoothly together.

What are the different departments in a hotel?

There are a range of different departments in a hotel, including:

  • Front of house
  • Back of house and housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Event management
  • Finance
  • Food and beverage services
  • Guest experience

Hotels also need general managers who handle the overall operations of all these departments.

What skills are required to work in hotel operations?

To work in hotel operations, you should work on building skills such as:

  • Time management
  • Team leadership
  • Organization
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication

These useful transferable skills will set you up well for a hospitality and tourism career and in other areas too.

How can I start a career in hotel management?

There are two main routes to working in hotel management. You can either start working your way up from entry-level roles via other careers in the hotel industry or you can study for a hospitality degree.

Salaries in Hotel operations

Working in hotel operations can be lucrative if you aim for a hospitality management career. Some of the top salaries are:

Travel and tourism

Unlike hospitality, which focuses on providing accommodation, food, and other services to guests, travel and tourism encompass a broader spectrum of experiences and activities beyond the confines of a hotel or resort. While hospitality is an integral part of the travel and tourism industry, the latter extends to include transportation, attractions, tour operators, travel agencies, and destination management organizations.

List of professions in the tourism industry

There are also a wide range of travel and tourism industry jobs, such as:

  • Travel agency management
  • Tour guide positions
  • Event planning and coordination
  • Transportation and logistics in the tourism industry
  • Adventure and eco-tourism careers
  • Destination marketing
  • Cruise ship management
  • Tourism research and analysis

These will have many of the same requirements as hotel roles. However, they can lead to working in varied environments, especially if you work in luxury management, which focuses on high-end services.

Salaries in travel and tourism

Choosing these careers in tourism and travel can lead to high salaries, such as:

Restaurant and culinary services

This sector of the hospitality industry focuses on providing food and beverage services to customers, offering a diverse array of culinary experiences tailored to meet varying tastes, preferences, and occasions. From the ambiance and presentation to the quality and taste of the food, restaurant and culinary services play a pivotal role in creating memorable dining experiences for patrons. 

Interesting roles in the restaurant and culinary services

Hospitality careers also include food and beverage services work, which includes:

  • Restaurant management positions
  • Bar managers
  • Culinary arts and chef careers
  • Front-of-house and back-of-house staff for restaurants
  • Sommeliers and beverage professionals
  • Catering and event management

Salaries in the restaurant and culinary services

If you are looking at culinary job opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry, you could expect salaries such as:

What skills are required to work in restaurant management?

As well as the management skills you’d need for any of these hospitality careers, you’ll also be expected to have culinary experience for a role in restaurant management. You could gain this either through specialized study or by working in a professional kitchen environment, a bar or with a catering company. The skills you will need include:

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Multi tasking
  • Creativity
  • Organizational skills

What is the role of a sommelier?

A sommelier is a wine expert. They are usually responsible for choosing and updating a venue’s wine list. They’ll also work with chefs to make sure dishes have suitable wine pairings and they can often give advice to customers on wines that enhance their menu selections.

Hospitality marketing and sales

This industry encompasses a range of activities, including market research, advertising, branding, digital marketing, sales campaigns, and customer relationship management. The goal of hospitality marketing and sales is to identify target markets, communicate the value proposition of hospitality offerings, and drive bookings and reservations through effective promotional strategies and sales efforts.

Roles to consider in hospitality marketing and sales jobs

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Another career option in hospitality is to work in marketing and sales. This can mean being responsible for:

  • Sales and revenue management
  • Digital marketing strategies for hotels and travel companies
  • Branding and public relations
  • Customer service and guest relations

How can I pursue a career in hospitality marketing?

For one of these hospitality careers, you will need a good knowledge of both the hospitality field and marketing. You can learn the skills you need from a college or hospitality school in Switzerland to give you the best chances of success.

What skills are essential for a sales manager in the hospitality industry?

Vital skills for a marketing or sales job in hospitality and tourism, such as marketing manager, include:

  • Creativity
  • Dedication
  • Project management
  • Communication
  • Data analysis

Salaries in hospitality marketing and sales

Sales and marketing roles often offer salaries in the higher bands of hospitality, such as:

Event planning and management 

These roles involve the meticulous coordination and execution of various events, ranging from corporate conferences and weddings to festivals and special occasions. The responsibilities include venue selection, logistics planning, budget management, vendor coordination, and on-site supervision. Event planners and managers work closely with clients to understand their objectives, preferences, and expectations, tailoring each event to meet specific needs and create memorable experiences for attendees. 

Careers in event planning and management

There are plenty of career opportunities in event hospitality, including:

  • Wedding planner
  • Corporate event planner
  • Event manager
  • Event designer
  • Event marketing specialist

What skills do I need for event planning?

In order to be successful in the field of event management and planning, you will need to build skills such as:

  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Customer service
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Event management salaries

Salaries in event management often depend on which kind of events you plan, and at what venues. As a rough guide, you could earn:

Learn more about Hospitality Careers

Transitioning into a career in hospitality and tourism

If you are looking to start your career in the hospitality and tourism professions, the important steps are:

  • Education and training to get you the skills and qualifications needed for hospitality employment prospects
  • Learning transferable skills, such as those listed in this article, to help you in whatever hospitality career you move into
  • Networking and making industry connections to help you find job opportunities in tourism and hospitality
  • Doing a hospitality internship or apprenticeship to give you real-world experience

What qualifications do I need to pursue a career in hospitality and tourism?

The best qualifications for hospitality careers are specialist hospitality certificates.

Whether you’re thinking about a bachelor’s degree, a diploma or an advanced qualification, these courses will give you the experience and skills necessary to compete for the most sought-after careers in the industry.

If you are looking at a career as a restaurant manager, you should also look for some culinary qualifications.

If you’re looking at degree options, you should aim to choose a course that includes internships. These will provide vital on-the-job training, as well as giving you a chance to network with professionals who are already established.

What are the job prospects and growth potential in the industry?

The hospitality and tourism industries have huge potential for growth due to the demand for quality travel experiences from a global customer base.

This means there are many opportunities for career advancement, especially in luxury management and other high-end hospitality sectors.

Once established in hospitality and tourism, there are also plenty of options to either specialize in area-specific management roles or to aim for general management or executive management roles.

All of these jobs in hospitality will have their own challenges and benefits.

What skills are important for success in hospitality and tourism?

There are many skills you can develop to improve your prospects in the hospitality business. Some of those you should work on consolidating include:

  • Communication, both written and verbal
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Team leadership skills
  • Project management
  • Analytical and data handling skills
  • Dedication
  • Problem solving

All of these are transferable or soft skills, which you can use in any job role. You’ll also need to learn specific skills relating to the role you want.

For example, if you want to work in restaurant management, you should aim to build culinary skills alongside those listed above.

If you want to work in sales management, you should aim to develop skills in finance and marketing.

Why hospitality and tourism careers?

Working in hospitality and tourism can be a great career for people who want to challenge themselves, travel, be constantly learning and work in a truly global enterprise.

The sector is experiencing healthy growth and consumer enthusiasm for travel and new experiences is not likely to diminish. You can expect rewarding career prospects with the possibility of advancement.

There are roles to suit all talents, including front of house, food and beverage management, hotel manager, general manager and lots more.

If you want to embrace any of the roles on our hospitality job list, the most efficient route is to get a world-recognized hospitality degree that ensures you gain the skills and knowledge to succeed.

If you want to pursue any of these hospitality careers, from hotel general manager to becoming an event planner, getting a quality education can be the first and most essential step.

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Main image: Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

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