Think back on the last time you went on holiday, chances are, you stayed in a hotel, resort, hostel or serviced apartment and ate at a restaurant and had drinks at a café, pub or bar. If you arrived at your destination via air, bus or rail transportation you probably booked with an airline, bus line, rail operator or a travel agent or tour operator.
The hospitality and tourism industry encompasses many industries, from accommodation, restaurants and bars, and transportation. Largely, it is a service industry that can range from planning, management, maintenance, marketing and operations.
The most common degree associated with the industry is hospitality and tourism management, which involves setting up and running establishments and the industry as a whole.
Highlighted courses and degrees in hospitality
Hospitality and tourism management is a multidisciplinary field. Because of this, aside from studying the fundamentals of hospitality, tourism and management, students taking this study program may be required to take courses in business, economics, sales, marketing and finance. This will include theory and practical knowledge and will ideally prepare students to take on different roles in the hospitality and tourism industry, whether it be in the airline industry, cruise industry, hotel and resort management, event management or tour operation.
Aside from the more general hospitality and tourism coursework, specialisations are also available in a number of institutions. This may be a required part of the degree program for hospitality and tourism or it may be optional, depending on the institution. Below is a short list of common specialisations offered by universities:
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates.
Because the degree prepares its graduates for many different job roles from entry-level to management, there is no typical mandatory certification for graduates of hospitality and tourism management programs who want to practice directly in the field.
A bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism can typically take around three to four years of full-time study. The exact period of time would depend on the university of your choice and the country wherein it is located.
For those interested in eventually pursuing a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, there are a number of programs available. Some of these degrees may be considered as MBAs.
Entrance into a hospitality and tourism degree program varies from institution to institution. Some universities require you to take an entrance exam, while some will take into consideration national or standard exams. A number of universities also take into consideration advanced placement exams, while some consider transfer credits for post-secondary students or applicants.
An applicant’s intent may also be taken into consideration, as some schools require a letter of intent or motivation letter. Because of this, a keen interest on the industry and sub-industries may be considered in admission decisions.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
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With multiple disciplines involved in taking a degree program in hospitality and tourism management, graduates such courses have multiple career opportunities in the different industries part of the wider hospitality, tourism and travel industry. Graduates go on to take roles in the hotel, cruise and resort industries such as receptionist, activity coordinator and customer relations officer.
In the airline industry, graduates can take on roles like flight attendant and ticketing or reservations officer. In events management, roles may involve planning and implementation of parties, weddings, concerts, seminars, fundraisers and charity events.
Travel agencies and tour operators interact closely with lodging, food and beverage and cultural establishments in order to provide different experiences for travelers and vacationers.
Graduates of Tourism programs also gain transferable skills along the way. They learn to communicate effectively, deal with different types of people and social situations, and working in and leading a team.
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