Introduction to the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality is a word we all know and recognize, and if you are wondering what is hospitality, its official meaning is defined as the relationship between host and guest. Good hospitality is important in restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and theme parks as well as on cruise ships and the term has become synonymous with the travel industry. However, if you have ever been a guest in someone’s home or had family to stay in yours, you have also experienced or practiced hospitality. Hospitality goes hand in hand with customer service and is basically about giving your guests a memorable experience, whether in a restaurant or hotel, or your spare bedroom, and ensuring that they will return. It isn’t a new concept; making sure that guests were happy and their every need catered for was important to the ancient Greeks, and many Celtic cultures.

In the US, the hospitality industry is one of the largest, employing almost 8 million people, in positions ranging from hotel housekeeper to cruise ship entertainer. One in every 17 people is employed in the hospitality industry in some way. In the US alone, the travel and transportation industries generate around 1.5 trillion dollars annually, with hotels and resorts, food services and air travel making up about 50 percent of this. Most income in the US hospitality and travel industry is generated by domestic travelers, although overseas visitors also spend billions of dollars every year on lodging, meals, transportation and entertainment.

One of the reasons it is important to offer outstanding hospitality is that the industry depends almost entirely on disposable income. Most people don’t have to stay in hotels, or visit resorts, restaurants and casinos and if they don’t have the extra money, they are reluctant to spend it. The overall state of the economy can have a significant income on hospitality industry revenues, as can the weather and threats of terrorism. There is also some truth in the fact that someone receiving good service in a hotel or restaurant will tell several people, while someone receiving poor service will tell a lot more people of their experience. In other words, word of mouth is important, and many places rely on repeat bookings. An unsold hotel room or an empty restaurant table is known in the industry as spoilage; once gone, it can never be sold again and airlines and hotels strive to have every seat and room filled.

Working in the industry can be challenging yet rewarding. There are literally hundreds of different jobs available, ranging from flight attendant to casino card dealer to restaurant dishwasher. Not all these jobs are especially well paid, and many people in the industry work the night shift, or on holidays and weekends. However, the benefits can often be good, including free or reduced rate hotel rooms, meals or air travel. Of course, you have to be a people person and you have to realize the importance of keeping the customer happy and making sure that he or she has a memorable and positive experience and will return.

Why Choose Hospitality As A Career Option?

The first questions that arises is why one should choose hospitality career. Hospitality as a career provides a rewarding alternative to traditional career options such as engineering, medicine, or, accounting, to name a few. It is a career that does not box you in rather, it allows you to shift, branch out and grow. Hospitality calls for a number of different talents including business savvy and artistic creativity. Besides, it allows you to build up your skills and interests and to get a position that matches to your own unique profile.

Hospitality, in the present scenario, has got global and international presence. It is one of the largest and dynamic industries in the world today. It offers a multitude of possibilities in an exciting field in which new areas are opening up every day. If you possess qualities such as creativity, energy, and entrepreneurial skills, then you’ll be able to reach at the top of your career in a very short span of time.

The hospitality industry includes a wide range of services such as entertainment, food, accommodation and recreation, etc. A qualification certificate from a recognized institution will equip you with the skills you need to work in the desired sector. The best thing about the hospitality sector is that as you acquire new skills and knowledge — you can work across the world in any number of hospitality establishments.

Tourism is considered as a country’s core pillar of growth, as it brings in foreign investment, foreign earnings and consumer spending, to name a few. The government is paying extra attention to the hospitality sector, as it has got the potential to stimulate jobs both in urban and rural areas. That’s the reason why, skilled professionals from hospitality field are in great demand.

Hospitality is considered as a resilient industry. Everybody knows the consequence of the economic downturns, but the hospitality business is not affected by the same. It shows steady growth, as there is no significant change in the number of tourists making trips to foreign countries. Tourism and hospitality industry is growing steadily and contributing substantially in a country’s gross domestic product.

People in the hospitality business are making huge money — whether it’s from a salaried job or working for a restaurant or hotel. It is one of the best industries for hospitality graduates to enter. They can run a resort, interact with foreign travelers and much more. Hospitality is closely associated with creativity, as you are required to think new ways to ensure that people buy your products and enjoy the experience you are offering to them.

One of the attractions of working in the hospitality industry is that you get a chance to travel the world, meet different people, know their culture, and many more. Besides, you get paid for it. It is really exciting to experience exotic, far-flung spots in all day’s work. So, choosing a hospitality career is not only rewarding, but full of excitement, and thrill. There are many institutions offering hospitality courses, search their websites and do a comprehensive research before joining any one of them. Get yourself ready for an exciting career endeavor.

Characteristics of Quality Hospitality Degree Programs

Students who have a passion to pursue a degree in hospitality and have the self-discipline and ambition to take advantage of the opportunity provided by these programs can be very successful. There are two-year associate programs; four-year bachelors and graduate level programs for those interested in a service industry related career. A wealth of professional and management opportunities are available for individuals that complete a degree program related to the hospitality industries. Positions with food service, hotel and casinos, real estate, concierge, and travel are possible for those completing coursework.

In the competitive global economy pursuing career education in a specific field is a beneficial approach to improving the prospects of employment. The service industry has typically been a viable employment option in many geographic regions, but especially those with high rates of tourism. The best schools with successful graduates should be considered as one decides to pursue an education in this field. Selecting a degree program that fits with an aspiring professional interests and specialization will improved the chances of an ideal fit with student and institution.

Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration are consistently ranked among the best schools for hospitality degree. A hospitality degree program graduate’s ability to gain employment, access to alumni networks and positive global reputation are some characteristics of a quality program. Recent graduates from Cornell University’s program reported an employment rate of eighty-nine percent after graduation. Michigan State’s alumni network numbers over ten thousand and is represented in every segment of the hospitality industry. Over twenty-five percent of the students at UNLV’s Hotel Administration program come from outside of the United States. The alumni network for the institution is well over eleven thousand who maintain significant industry positions throughout the world.

The global nature of the hospitality industry dictates that some international experience will create a well-rounded professional and more attractive employment candidate. This international experience can be obtained through an entire program or a more brief study abroad program. Florida International University and the University of Houston and other quality degree programs provide these opportunities. FIU’s Chaplin School Hotel Management has a rigorous program of study for the students enrolled. All are required to work one thousand hours in the industry and also complete three hundred hours in an advanced internship. The Chaplin School touts a one hundred percent placement rate for its graduates. The U of H’s Conrad N. Hilton College offers several study abroad and international programs. The length of the programs offered through the Conrad H. Hilton College last from two weeks up to an entire semester, depending on your availability and interest.

The programs and institutions included in this article demonstrate several options for those seeking a degree in the hospitality field. However this list in not exhaustive of all the schools that offers hospitality programs. Several additional programs exist and finding the best option based on student need, finances, and desired professional outcome are available. Conducting a detailed search of the educational options will increase your prospects for success and program completion.

Hospitality Management in Focus

Typically, hospitality management (HM) relates to the running of a company that offers accommodation and food. Examples include casinos, hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and resorts. This sector is intrinsically linked to tourism, because tourism is involved with holiday destinations and travelling methods. Similarly, HM concentrates on the destinations themselves, and what people do once they arrive. Those who wish to pursue a career in this sector might choose to enroll in a specialized educational course, so they will stand out to employers.

Job Demands and Entry Points

The hospitality sector is varied and extensive. Whenever people go travelling, visit the cinema, book a hotel, eat out or partake in similar pursuits, they are doing business with industry suppliers. It is a demanding task to manage these establishments, because managers have to be sufficiently versatile to predict and cater to a broad range of requirements. Also, they have to oversee tasks like staff training, dealing with employees and maintaining standards.

Many people follow HM careers by starting at the bottom and working their way up. They obtain experience in menial roles, prior to gaining promotion into more senior positions. Eventually, they will be made managers. For those who intend to work for the same company all their lives, this is a wise approach. Staff who do this learn all about the intricacies of the companies that employ them. This gives them a good insight into the work required in every department, to run an organisation like a popular resort.

What are the Major Role in the Hospitality Management.

This type of profession does not suit everyone. Those who pursue HM jobs require outstanding customer service ability. They have to be firm as well, because managers have to lay down and enforce clear rules and guidelines for staff. Moreover, it is crucial to have the ability to highlight and pre empt requirements – whether it’s making preparations for when important guests arrive, or arranging food orders for restaurants. Those who can react fast on the spur of the moment, who enjoy dealing with people, and who like problem solving are a good fit for this occupation.

The Benefits of Education

Those who opt for specialized training can enroll in a relevant certification program, a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. This training will prepare students to enter management roles straightaway. It teaches students about every aspect of the industry, from coping with natural disasters to payment processing software. Frequently, people who complete these courses gain employment immediately, and earn a decent salary from the start – particularly if they study at a reputable college.

It is difficult to overstate the significance of leadership skills for modern hospitality managers. Ever since the global recession, people have tended to travel less and competition for their patronage has intensified. This is where managers with good leadership skills can make all the difference to an organisation. Both business acumen and interpersonal skills are required to gain a competitive edge, and capable managers will possess both.