Hotels & hospitality: Hospitality Industry update, 2014

Hotels & hospitality: Hospitality Industry update, 2014

Tourism and hospitality are, perhaps, the top beneficiaries of advancements in technology. Where technology rendered many traditional careers obsolete, it gave a new lease of life to hospitality industry. If you work in this industry, climbing the ranks could mean going to work and live in exotic destinations abroad, sailing the open seas, or traveling to the most beautiful places on earth.

With an array of roles, hospitality is a dynamic and fast-paced industry with a plethora of opportunities and ample career progression. A people-oriented work life, it dishes out advancement opportunities in all kinds of directions, both within different job and career types and in locations worldwide. If you are motivated to succeed, you can advance rapidly in the business of serving travellers, exploiting the tremendous earning potential.

Within hospitality, you could work in businesses that provide accommodation, meals and drinks services such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, food service management, fast food, coffee shops, pubs, bars and nightclubs, clubs and casinos.

Hospitality team

Today, more people are traveling and eating out than ever before. Data from STR Global shows that more than 1 billion people travelled globally in 2013. Travel, hospitality, and leisure sectors are on the cusp of exciting opportunities in 2014.  With international arrivals forecast to grow between 4- 4.5%, demand growth across most regions will outpace supply.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) 2013 Economic Impact report, the international hotel industry is predicted to expand consistently by 4.4% each year over the next decade. Following on, jobs in hospitality are expected to hit record highs of more than 337 million by 2023. This spells the opening-up of new job roles and positions for industry pros and newcomers alike. Hospitality managers are in high demand as qualified, experienced candidates are hard to find. Greater emphasis is placed on the ability of hospitality professionals to have a global outlook, international experience, and multicultural communication skills.

While hospitality management degrees are valued, most employers look for professionals who can stay ahead in the fast-paced and highly competitive marketplace. Experience will help you move up the career ladder and into management positions and higher salaries.


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Salary: what to expect

Average salaries in hospitality, based on experience:

Experience Average salary
Less than 1 year $37,668
1 to 4 years $39,752
5 to 9 years $48,280
10 to 19 years $57,995
20+ years $75,778

Size of the establishment, its location and proximity to a tourist attraction in the region will also play a major factor in your salary. The general manager of a five-star hotel in a metropolis will earn a higher salary than the manager of a local boutique hotel in a small town.

Positions and profiles

The top hospitality jobs in 2014 are:

Chef/ Cook

In charge of the kitchen and its staff, the chef is responsible for designing the menu, selecting and ordering ingredients and ensuring consistency in quality of food served. High-quality cooks are always in demand, and can quickly move to a variety of locations and become chefs or catering managers. Cooks can become specialists in areas such as ethnic cooking and open their own restaurants or start a catering company. Specialists can bring lots of variety into their work and snag travel opportunities overseas.

Chef/ cook, hospitality

Food and Beverage Manager

Also called food service managers, their chief responsibility is to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. They plan, organize and control the operations in the kitchen area of schools, corporations, hospitals and full-service restaurants, overseeing kitchen and dining staff. They work with chefs to ensure food is served in a timely manner. The job involves high-level of customer contact and requires someone with lots of energy, good communication and customer service skills.

Food and beverage manager, hospitality

Travel Agent

In charge of travel and accommodation arrangements, people seek them to get the best deal possible. Travel agents sift through vast amounts of information and are responsible for taking into account the clients’ tastes and preferences before finding the right alternative for them.

Travel Agent, hospitality

Lodging Manager

They ensure that guests visiting the property enjoy their experience. Many lodging managers also establish room rates, supervise rooms and staff, and keep track of the hotel’s revenue.

Events planner

Working closely with clients to plan and coordinate meetings, weddings and conferences, the Meeting and Events Planner is responsible for venue selection, vendor coordination, food and transportation services.

Events Planner, hospitality


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Global trends

Europe and North America together dominate the global hospitality sector; the top 5 destinations in the world are United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Austria. But the market appears to be shifting focus to Asia and Latin America. Since 2010, the number of available hotel rooms in the BRIC countries (China, India, Brazil, and Russia) has jumped by almost 20%, compared with a 0.6% increase in the United States. Billions of new middle-class travelers are seeking business and leisure destinations – a scenario which will reshape the hospitality industry. By 2025, there will be about 2 billion new middle-class consumers, most of them in Asia. This large new customer base will be potential for hotel development, particularly in the budget and mid-range segments.

Geographies to target, for your hospitality job search:

UAE/ Dubai

The construction boom in Dubai, UAE and Saudi Arabia is paralleled only by the growth in tourism, hotels and hospitality. The latest HotStats – Hotels Market Review – conducted in January this year showed 86.3% room occupancy levels in Dubai and 10.8% increase in Average Room Rates, boosting Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) by 9.5%. All thanks to higher yields from the ‘leisure travel’ segment.

The UNWTO states that the number of travelers in the Middle East has more than doubled, from 24.1 million in 2000 to 60.3 million in 2010. Dubai alone welcomed 10 million visitors last year and looks to host 20 million visitors by 2020. With 95% of its population comprising expats, Dubai is fast turning into an international hub for skilled hospitality professionals. Expat hoteliers and chefs are especially valued in the Middle East, because of their exposure to catering to vibrant markets in the West. Salaries range from mid to very high, depending on your profile as well as the caliber of the establishment you join.

Dubai, UAE

United States

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the hospitality industry have increased by 17% since 2004, generating more than 2 million new jobs in the U.S. Employment edged up in February 2014 (+25,000), following a similar movement in January. Over the prior 12 months, this industry had added an average of 36,000 jobs per month.

Job title Average salary (USD)
Restaurant Manager 32,000
Sales Leaders and Executives 211,000
General Manager 56,000
Assistant Manager 30,000
Sales Trainer 189,000
Chef 32,000


European hotels have reported the strongest occupancy increases in the world in 2014, rising from 2.4% to 67.4%. Vilnius experienced the largest increase from 8.3% to 63.8%, while Istanbul experienced the largest occupancy decrease.

Venice, Italy, Europe


Hospitality in Africa is built on business travel. Currently, much of the trade in top hotels comes from domestic business and leisure. International hotel groups are eyeing Africa for its development potential in the coming years. There are already about 200 hotels under construction here; many are being developed by local entrepreneurs seeking to take advantage of their domestic economic growth nodes, while others are companies seeking a foothold on a continent with so much economic potential.

Ghana, West Africa

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