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Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

What is the hospitality industry like?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7892points) April 11th, 2013

Here I am again asking about future career choices. I’m even fed up with myself, so forgive me all.
I have always been interested in the travel industry: hotels, resorts, restaurants, airlines, etc.
What is happening with the hospitality industry? Would it be a waste to get a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management?

You can be as broad as you like in your answer.

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9 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

My boyfriend is a manager at a huge resort. He’s not the general manager, but a manager none the less. He gets a decent salary, but he works incredibly long hours.

I had an acquaintance who once told me that running a hotel was like managing a small city. It’s full of people who want things 24 hours a day.

I can’t speak for other things like restaurants, airlines, etc.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I only lasted one day (I was about 21 yrs old), it felt like indentured servitude. I wasn’t grateful to cater to their every whim, at all.

gorillapaws's avatar

I had a friend who was a hospitality and tourism management major. He got a job booking groups for major corporate retreats and product launches. He was making over 200k per year, but working crazy hours in a very high pressure environment and was miserable. He got engaged/married and relocated and was barely scraping by for a while. Now he’s working a sales job for a software firm and doing ok.

I think HTM is a hit-or-miss industry and it’s all about who you know.

YARNLADY's avatar

It totally depends on which part you are working in. There are desk jobs in accounting and business management where people work in offices and do essentially the same thing as any other business.

There are jobs managing the guest services and the staff that involve strong people skills, and there are the jobs that require direct contact with the guests which require a strong, patient personality.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Cyclical. The macro picture is that it reacts very closely to the economy. If the economy is good, hotels and resorts make money. If not, they don’t. RIght now it is at a high point, but history shows that these go up and down every couple of years.

And as others have noted: if you are in a ‘lower’ position, you may as well be a slave. Long hours, bad hours, and average pay. If you’re in the right management position, you make a good living.

The problem is that most people start at the bottom.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Wow. People really show their true colors when they abuse the housekeepers or make unreasonable demands at the front desk. Of course, I’m sure that “please” and “thank you” are in short supply.

pleiades's avatar

Let’s put it all into perspective. Are you trying to grab a career at a certain location to ride out the rest of your life? Or are you trying to be legendary with hospitality in the most high end places on earth? (Hawaii, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Dubai, Palm Jebel Ali, Miami, Brazil etc)

You can be as ambitious as you want with hospitality. And never forget to tell your bosses you’re interested in the higher position but would love to get experience at the lower level first.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I was in the hotel business for ~30 years. The bulk of it was with major hotel companies.

It’s a 24/7/365 industry for most jobs. You have to be customer service oriented. When I interviewed prospective candidates, a question asked was, “Why do you want to get into the industry?” If they answered with something about loving to travel or staying in hotels or adored television shows about any aspect of the business, it didn’t gain them any points. They were as clueless about it as I was when first starting out.

The upside is it exposes one to a plethora of fields tied to the industry. I’ve watched people in the lowest jobs move up into executive positions based upon their interests and talents. On the corporate level, new employees joined the team with a degree in their field, like accounting, IT, human resources, design & construction, sales & marketing, etc. A few co-workers took advantage of the educational assistance and earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of interest.

The key is to work for a company that has a stellar reputation, be it company managed or franchised. The other is to have a great supervisor. All of this information can come out by doing a little front end research and during the interview process.

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