Traveling is one of the most popular leisure activities, although of course people also travel for business.
The hospitality industry serves travelers of all kinds -- from families on budget summer vacations to international businessmen and women, and everyone in between.
Careers and Salaries in Hospitality
The hospitality industry employs roughly 1.1 million people in the U.S. in a variety of jobs. Hospitality careers includes hotel management, tourism, event planning, restaurant management, and many other fields.
Travel agents help people book flights, accommodations, and other parts of a trip.
Tour operators and their employees lead people on specific tours, such as a tour of architecture in a city. Running tours can be dangerous and demanding, but most people in the field enjoy it.
Hotel managers make management decisions about the hotels they run, including who to hire, rates to charge, and how to settle disputes. Hotel management degree programs are generally considered good preparation for this career, since they cover both business and management concepts, and issues related specifically to tourism and accommodations. Obviously, hotel management covers many types of accommodations, including campgrounds, motels, resorts, and more.
Hotels are open 24-7, and the manager's hours will reflect that. Additionally, the job can be hectic and stressful during busy times or when problems arise. The job can also be very satisfying for someone who loves this kind of work – and it can be lucrative, as well.
Restaurant mangers run restaurants and similar food service establishments. They oversee the buying of food, menu creation, food preparation and service, employees, costs, and many other things.
Sometimes chefs with experience and money open and manage their own restaurants; business owners with other experience may do the same thing. There are also restaurant management programs that prepare graduates for the field.
The job can be very stressful and even hazardous at times (kitchen fires, various injuries, etc.). However, for the chef or business person who has always dreamed of running a restaurant, the field can be very rewarding. Seeing one's own food creations “wow” guests is every chef's delight.
Outlook for the Hospitality Industry
As demographics change around the world, so must the tourism and hospitality industry.
Increased life expectancy, urbanization, increased migration, and changing family structures will all have a strong effect on the hospitality industry over the coming years.
Who is traveling, why they are traveling, and what people do when they travel will influence the kinds of hotels and restaurants that are built and that thrive.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry will see between 5 and 8% growth in job opportunities through 2018. Employment of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks is expected to grow faster than some other occupations in the hotel and lodging industry.