Your Journey toward a Hospitality Management Career

Simone Debrebant wanted a career "that would give me all the opportunities I wanted to see the world." Krupesh Patel's family vacations in the Middle East inspired him to seek a career abroad. Inspired by a yearning for far-flung shores, both have carved out a niche in the growing field of hospitality management.

Traveling to the Top

Hospitality management professionals may come to see the world or to work in the upbeat travel industry, but they stay for the career opportunities. "With a marked people and skills shortage in both hospitality and tourism, the opportunity to carve out a long-term career in the sector either here or abroad is wide open," reports The Independent.

Profile of a Hospitality Manager

What does it take to reach for the hospitality management stars? Hilton Hotels looks for recruits who are "smart, passionate, and ambitious." InterContinental prizes "social skills and personality." "An extroverted nature, an optimistic frame of mind, an endless supply of patience and a strong sense of humor" also rank high.

Hospitality Career Essentials

But beyond the winning smile, hospitality employers want to see a solid education. A four-year degree is standard, preferably in Tourism or Hospitality Management. A university or culinary institute hospitality degree should develop skills in the following areas:

  • Business. Basic financial and management skills are crucial. "I have to focus on yield management, revenue management and the development needs of my team," comments Holiday Inn reservations manager Patel.
  • Language. The standard qualification is fluent English and proficiency in a second language, if you want to work abroad.
  • Geography. Cultural literacy is a big plus--and so is the ability to pinpoint travel destinations on a map.
  • Technical. Hospitality managers often work with complex IT systems.

Armed with a university or culinary institute degree, you'll find the doors to an international hospitality career wide open. That means unlimited growth potential, intellectual challenge, and of course, adventure. As Debrenant puts it, "the sheer enthusiasm about seeing different places or waking up in different ports never leaves you."


  • The Independent, "Careers in Hospitality and Tourism: Be the Host with the Most"