The Hospitality and Tourism industries center primarily on providing services; they are less involved in production processes. For this reason, study and work concentrations in these fields develop and hone personal and interpersonal skills first and the operational abilities second. Developing the right Hospitality and Tourism qualities and skills is a critical step in ensuring graduates are highly qualified for work.
What kind of skills, you ask? The ability to do tasks relating to housekeeping, food and beverage and event management are primary points of focus. Hospitality and Tourism courses also train students to enhance their analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities. It also pays to be interested in history and people in general, as well as a genuine passion for all things that the service industry calls for.
In terms of operational skills, education in Hospitality and Tourism industries is essentially three-pronged. Training is provided for the stages of preparation, operation, and aftercare. For example, Hospitality graduates in food service industries are required to be trained and experienced not only in duties relating to food preparation but also sourcing ingredients and dining area set-up and clean-up. Students learn these lessons in theory and in practice.
A Hospitality or Tourism degree puts students’ skills to the test. First-year courses mainly deal with theories like fundamental regulations and local history. From the second year onward, they are tasked to complete more complex projects are thrown at them. They are trained to draft itineraries, write case studies, and make reports on hospitality establishments. Tourism and Hospitality colleges also teach more practical, basic skills like cutting with knives or even brewing alcohol or coffee.
All knowledge aside, there are important qualities that a Hospitality and Tourism student should possess, as they prove to be helpful both in university and the workplace. These include a desire to be with people and willingness to adapt to customer demands, an appreciation for diversity, and an ability to communicate and convey messages well. For those seeking immediate management positions, critical thinking and localized knowledge are a plus.
Another important trait is the ability to adapt to diverse cultures. The more personable and interesting you are, the better the client will feel about their experience. For example, knowledge of people’s background not only engages you in a great conversation; it makes your client feel valued.
Flexibility is also immensely important, both in undergraduate school and at work. In school, mixing theoretical and practical education can be quite jarring. Just as you fully acquaint yourself with tourist destinations, you will be asked to shift to the actual work of preparing tables for dining. Having that ability to juggle different jobs not only allows you to express your versatility; it also gives a lasting good impression on customers.
The success of Hospitality or Tourism degree holders lies in their sincerity to provide industry services. Essentially, if you are passionate about knowing and meeting new people and nurturing an environment that meets their needs, you’ll go far in your career. Paired with knowledge, professionalism, and a warm and welcoming personality, these qualities can make you an indispensable asset in the industry.