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Hospitality Management and Tourism

Hospitality and tourism refers to the welcoming of and catering to guests in hotels, restaurants, cafes, casinos, and cinemas – anywhere that leisure activities may be undertaken.

Careers in hospitality and tourism are vast and varied. Restaurants employ waiters and waitresses, bar staff, maitre d’, managers and chefs. Hotels offer positions from chambermaids and concierge up to management level. Travel agents, tour guides, entertainers on cruise ships, golf coaches at hotels and holiday reps all work in hospitality and tourism. The possibilities are endless, and the locations worldwide.

The industry can be viewed as glamorous due to the potential to travel when working in certain sectors, however it is also often also hard work and long hours. Hospitality can be a very satisfying career when you see or hear about the pleasure that your work brings to customers.

Helpful attributes for someone who works in the hospitality industry are to be friendly, have an eye for detail, be organised, a good team player and happy to go above and beyond the call of duty.


How to get into hospitality management and tourism

It is possible to start at the bottom in a junior position such as waitressing or working as a chambermaid, and work your way up from there.

There are courses for hospitality and tourism at many levels – NVQ, GNVQ and City & Guilds Diplomas.

Increasing numbers of people who wish to go into the industry take a degree in hospitality management and tourism.

Degrees in hospitality management and tourism are an excellent way for a candidate to gain understanding of the industry as a whole, giving them basic skills in marketing, business, finance and customer service, as well as offering the opportunity to specialise in certain areas of interest. 

University courses are vocational, aiming at equipping their students with the necessary knowledge and skills to hit the ground running when they enter a job.

They last three or four years, with work experience placements usually included in the syllabus.

Some institutions even have onsite restaurants for students to hone their skills in a practical environment.


Qualifications and experience

For those wishing to go into a more junior role, there are often no grade requirements, however passes in GCSE English and Maths will be beneficial.

For those wishing to take an undergraduate course in the subject, Business and Geography A-Levels can be helpful, as can the ability to speak a second language, but none of these are essential requirements. It is often useful to demonstrate some experience of having worked in the sector before, even if it was working in a café making sandwiches and waiting tables.


Salary expectations

The average salary in hospitality management is £25,000. The pay varies between careers: waitresses earn an average of £14,500, an executive chef £35,000, a hotel manager £25,000, a concierge £20,000 and a travel agent £22,000. Bear in mind that these are average salaries, and that they can rise considerably given where someone is employed, who they’re employed by, and their level of experience and seniority. A top hotel manager can earn up to £100,000, for instance. It is also possible to earn extra money in tips on top of basic salary in this industry.


Useful websites

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