Carrier in hospitality: They would be better off asking me to define the purpose of life or explain astrophysics, because there is no clear and certain answer to that question. It all depends on what a person seeks from choosing to work in hotels.
The hospitality industry is about providing lodging or accommodation in all forms and about food and beverages served in all sectors. Essentially, these two products, along with travel, transportation, recreation, and all related activities are usually connected with a destination that makes up the tourism sector as a whole.
One important component of all types of hospitality units is a ‘hotel’ which provides a whole lot of hospitality services under one roof. Thus, aspiring students for a career in hospitality and tourism will choose ‘hotel management’ to get to know how to manage accommodation and food and beverages.
Today, another specific learning in this big world of hospitality and tourism is to focus on the ‘culinary arts’ which gives ample scope to the interested learners to spend more time in hands-on experience in all types of cuisines and the fine arts of the bakery.
Hospitality has history…
The emergence of boutique hotels in the last 15 years is a prime example of this. The changing tastes of travelers have led to ever more unique and personalized accommodation experiences. Now, instead of 100 rooms furnished by the same supplier, guests can have themed decor. Health and wellbeing is another new feature of these hotels, with gyms, health-conscious menus, and even work out equipment in rooms. It’s a clear message from consumers that innovation is key to success in hospitality.
The reasons are just about as vast as the industry and as deep as its roots in history. Historically, people traveled around, and just as today the basic needs such as a warm bed and healthy meals had to be met. However, unlike ancient times ( which were limited to small inns or chambers for rent in private residences), the industry has continuously evolved to its highest extents – and with future technologies and resources, promises to innovate more and more with every single client.
Whether your corporation needs a 100 person conference room, you decide to go on an exotic honeymoon, or finally take time off with your family at a summer resort, working in hotels requires you – professionally – to insure that your clients’ wants and needs are met and even exceeded; and unlike past times, they are not limited to just a warm bed or healthy meals. Whoever is involved with this industry needs to understand that keeping up with its current trends is a key success factor.
Career prospects in the hotel management industry:
At the same time, while the old-school jobs of hotel operational departments have remained, several opportunities have also opened up for today’s graduates of hotel management, culinary arts, and tourism management in the cruise lines, airlines, catering, vending, retailing, restaurants, start-ups and many more allied sectors.
Today’s hotel management students have a wide range of career options to choose from. With the advent of International hotel chains, the organizational culture in the hotels has also been very positive towards students from hotel schools.
Also, the joy and fun of being part of this industry as employees, with so much travel, luxurious stays in wonderful hotels, and being in the magical destinations, most of it coming free, are great additional takeaways.
Even under the current scenario, irrespective of the temporary slowdown of business in tourism and hospitality due the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there’s always wide and ample scope of a great career, full of newer opportunities.
The current supply of skilled/professionally trained manpower is estimated to be a very dismal 8.92 percent to the total requirement as per a study commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism. The study anticipates a rapidly widening gap towards 2016- 2017, taking into account the attrition rate and retirement and supply from both government and private programs.
The high rate of attrition in the Indian hospitality industry is definitely not beneficial to the employer as it results in increased costs in way of hiring costs, training costs and loss of productivity, loss of company knowledge which the employee takes away with her/him (like knowledge of the company and its customers, etc.), interruption of customer service and goodwill of the company.
According to sources, attrition in the industry currently hovers at 25-30 percent across different levels.
Shortage of chefs:
The hospitality sector has always faced a shortage of chefs. But more recently, with mass acceptance of International cuisines, entry of international food chains and specialized restaurants, more opportunities in retail and food-related industries, the chefs are in great demand. And it’s quite glamorous to be a chef too, comparable to the perception of being just ‘cooks’ a few decades earlier.
The hospitality sector, plagued by constant attrition is also trying to ramp up the number of women in its workforce at mid to senior levels.
Headhunters say more and more hotel chains are making diversity an integral part of their hiring strategy and are giving out specific mandates for hiring women at senior levels across functions. Diversity and inclusion are the essential targets of the top brands in hospitality.
Today, the industry is also looking at encouraging start-ups which can lead to expansion in the segment and students should dream of becoming job providers and not just job seekers. In all the courses of WGSHA, Entrepreneurship is a mandated subject.
The students’ business ideas and plans have secured top places in national competitions organized by management and hospitality organizations.