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Hospitality Industry Promises Jobs Boom

Each year, nearly a billion people travel across the globe. It is little wonder that the hospitality and travel trade is tagged as one of the world’s leading economic activities.

Clocking revenues worth billions of dollars, the industry is dynamic and fast growing. The opportunities for career advancement in this sector, post-recession, are immense. Hospitality and travel organizations are on the lookout for talent to manage their hotels, restaurants, resorts, spas, travel agencies and airline companies worldwide.

“The global demand for travel and tourism provides unprecedented opportunities going forward,” says Dr Lalia Rach, associate dean and HVS International Chair of the New York University Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. Rach co-authored the report, “Hospitality 2010,” with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its member firms. The report also indicates that India, China and the Gulf States are the new growth markets for the hospitality and tourism trade. With global hospitality majors looking to consolidate their position in these regions, demand for trained managers will be on the rise.

Take for instance, global hospitality major Carlson, which runs the luxury chain Radisson. Carlson plans to open 100 more hotels and employ 30,000 people in India by 2015. Another company, Accor, which runs the Novotel, Ibis and Mercure brand of hotels, will create 3,000 jobs in the country by the end of the year. Ambitious expansion plans that indicate big opportunities for hotel industry aspirants.

Demand for degrees, newer study hotspots

As if on cue, there has been a parallel surge in interest in hospitality management programs offered by universities, colleges, and now business schools. In the past, the traditional destinations for hospitality education were Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. Of late, countries such as Australia, Canada and South East Asia are fast climbing the popularity charts. These destinations offer cost-effective programs for students looking for international qualifications.

There is a distinct difference between the way hoteliering is taught in India and in the West.

In addition to the traditional degrees and vocational diplomas in hospitality, MBA degrees in hospitality management are being fashioned for hotel industry aspirants who want to gain management expertise in diverse areas such as operations, revenue management, marketing management, real estate finance and investment.

“There is a distinct difference between the way hoteliering is taught in India and in the West.  You can earn a Bachelors or a Masters degree from hotel schools overseas. This degree has a fair bit of “non–hospitality” attached to it which allows students to become well rounded in their approach to life,” explains Manav Thadani, Chairman, HVS–India, a hospitality consulting firm. Thadani has a BS degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from New York University’s School of Education, and an MA in Food Service Management from the same university. 

“The hospitality industry is one of the largest and most dynamic industries in the world. With the fast growth and tremendous opportunities throughout Asia, especially in India, currently the hospitality industry in this region has great demand for professionals with management skills, industry expertise, and international experience and perspective,” says Aileen Fan, Director of Marketing, Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Singapore. The Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management in Singapore is a collaboration between Cornell University, United States and Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

“The hospitality industry is one of the largest and most dynamic industries in the world…”

“The Cornell-Nanyang Institute’s joint Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program offers graduates the benefit of an Ivy League education, brand leadership in the industry, high-level alumni connections, and Asia-specific business skills.” adds Fan.

“Countries such as Switzerland, United States, and United Kingdom have been globally reputed for hospitality and tourism education. However, courses offered in these countries come with a big price tag, though, and thus, the emergence of reliable yet comparatively more affordable programs in countries like Singapore and Australia which have drawn hordes of Indian students over the last 6 to 7 years,” observes Amy Daga, Lecturer, Hospitality & Tourism Business (International Programme), Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Daga, a graduate from India’s Institute of Hotel Management has worked in reputed hotel chains and restaurants in India and the United Kingdom.

Soaring Salaries, Global Mobility

Global hospitality management schools not only offer an international education experience graduates get a sizeable return on investment in terms of lucrative campus placements in leading hospitality companies and the benefit of a strong alumni network worldwide. “Our MBA program in International Hospitality is specialized in hospitality finance and real estate, e-distribution and marketing of luxury products. Indian students are very attracted by the hospitality real estate and development sectors and many have joined companies in the Gulf in the recent past; some are in consulting firms in the UK. The right skills in e-distribution are also sought by employers in sales and marketing looking for social media managers or e-distribution managers,” notes Jeanine Picard, Director of MBA in International Hospitality Management, ESSEC Business School, Europe.

With the right attitude, an international qualification from a reputed hospitality school, and global work experience, the sky is the limit.

“Cornell-Nanyang Institute graduates are recruited and hired by the best-known names throughout Asia in the hospitality, luxury & lifestyle, consultancy, service and related fields. Average international starting salaries (outside the United States) have ranged from US$ 59,143 in 2008 to US$ 45,212 in 2010,” adds Fan.

Most of these schools pride themselves on having a strong industry connection. “One of our key strengths is the close relationship with industry. All our graduates have on average almost three job offers on graduation. Industry hiring managers are extremely happy with the graduates of our schools. All the major aspects of hospitality management are covered during the course and internships. Top hotel chains come to our campus to recruit directly,” says Arjen Meijer, International PR Manager, Laureate Hospitality Education. Laureate is a hospitality management education group that manages schools such as Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland.

With major hospitality companies scaling for success in the global marketplace, the focus is recruiting professionals who bring an international business and cultural perspective into the organization. “We find that students with international degrees are beginning to pick up good jobs and there is respect for them in the market,” notes Thadani. “International degrees are not given extra weightage in India unless the candidate is from a highly reputed international institute such as Cornell, Cordon Bleu, EHL or the Culinary Institute of America. Personally, I would evaluate a candidate based on the deliverables that the candidate brings to the position with his or her international exposure,” says Arvind Shenoy, General Manager, Radisson BLU Hotel Rudrapur. “Ultimately it’s all about having the right attitude for the hotel industry,” sums up Thadani.

With the right attitude, an international qualification from a reputed hospitality school, and global work experience, the sky is the limit.

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faisal sagar
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10 December 2011


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