Do you enjoy meeting new people and providing a warm welcome to your guests? Chances are, you’d enjoy a career in the hospitality industry. Hotels, motels, and inns are an indispensable part of the life of travelers and a big part of our nation’s economy. According to a recent First Research, Hotel and Motel – Lodging Report, the U.S. hospitality industry includes about 30,000 companies that operate 50,000 individual locations, with combined annual revenue over $90 billion.
Lodging establishments can vary significantly in size and in the number of services they provide, and can range from a cozy bed-and-breakfast on the seashore to a glitzy Las Vegas hotel-casino. Many lodging managers work in traditional city and suburban hotels and motels, but off the beaten track many other opportunities exist including resort inns, bed-and breakfast establishments, recreational camps, cruise ships, youth hostels, and RV parks.
A Wide Variety of Opportunities
Within the hospitality careers industry there are many rewarding career opportunities. The one person who oversees all of a property’s lodging operations is often called a general manager. At larger hotels, one general manager supervises a staff of assistant managers of various departments including office administration, housekeeping, purchasing, security, personnel, marketing and sales, maintenance, food and beverage, and guest recreation and relations. At a casino, the gaming operations may be a major division, and may even drive the business strategy for the entire brand.
A successful lodging manager has to be a “jack of all trades.” Lodging managers have wide-ranging responsibilities for the operation and profitability of the property. They may hire and train staff, and set schedules. Most importantly, a good general manager must have experience and training in every facet of the hotel’s operations, from operating the restaurant to knowing how to contract the linen service to running the web-based reservations system.
In large establishments, front office managers are responsible for the hotel’s guests and may oversee reservations and room assignments, and hire and train the hotel’s front desk staff. Convention services managers oversee meetings, conventions, and special events. Marketing directors and public relations directors are responsible for meeting occupancy goals and coordinating the advertising and promotion of the property. Managers may work with information technology specialists to ensure that the hotel’s computer systems, Internet, and communications networks are creating value. Food and beverage managers supervise the hotel’s restaurant and catering activities.