Careers in the tourism and hospitality industry: Overview

Hospitality and tourism jobs available.

The hospitality and tourism industry relates to the management, marketing, and operations of restaurants and bars, accommodation, attractions, entertainment and recreation events, and travel-related services.
Because it is such a diverse industry with so many career options to pursue, we will break it up into a few articles over the next few weeks.

In this article, we are going to talk about career options and jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry. We are going to break it down into 11 sectors. You may find that there are hospitality jobs that you don’t even know about and therefore don’t have in your career vision. You can’t have something on the table if you don’t know about it or that it even exists.

The more you know about how things work in the hospitality industry after graduation, the better-informed decisions you can make about your future career. Especially while you are still a student or recent graduate. Would you buy a car without first doing your research? The same goes for your chosen industry. It is imperative that you make the right and more informed decision about your chosen career path. You do not want to end up in an industry that you do not fit into or that does not bring you joy.

The hospitality industry includes a wide range of sectors including:

1. Accommodation

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the accommodation sector include:

  • Front-of-House Manager
  • Guest Relations Manager
  • Hotel Clerk
  • Hotel Receptionist
  • Reservationist
  • Reservations Agent
  • Concierge
  • Hotel Porter
  • Housekeeper
  • Driver

2. Restaurants & Bars

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Restaurants & Bar sector include:

  • Waiter
  • Banquet Server
  • Barista
  • Bartender
  • Busser
  • Food & Beverage Manager
  • Catering Assistant
  • Food Runner
  • Food Server
  • Head Waiter
  • Host
  • Hostess
  • Maître d’
  • Server
  • Sommelier

3. Meetings & Events

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Meetings & Events sector include:

  • Events Manager
  • Executive Conference Manager
  • Executive Manager
  • Convention Planner
  • Coordinator
  • Meeting Manager
  • Special Events Manager
  • Wedding Coordinator

4. Travel & Transportation

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Travel & Transportation sector include:

  • Airline customer service agent
  • Airline pilot, co-pilot, first officer, captain
  • Airport information assistant
  • Cabin crew – Flight attendant, air steward, air stewardess
  • Cruise ship steward
  • Cabin steward
  • Car rental agents
  • Shuttle drivers
Driver tour guide with tourists on a game drive
As a driver, you can get a job as a tour guide or game guide within a game reserve.

5. Tourism

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Tourism sector include:

  • Tour guide
  • Tour operator
  • Tourist information center assistant
  • Travel agent
  • Interpreter
  • Tour bus driver

6. Attractions

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Attractions sector include:

  • Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Heritage Interpreter
  • Gate/Cash Attendant
  • Games Manager
  • Museum Curator
  • Casino Dealer
  • President and Chief Executive Officer

7. Entertainment

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Entertainment sector include:

  • Artist Manager
  • Booking Agent / Talent Agent
  • Marketing
  • Event Manager
  • Venue Manager

8. Recreation & Leisure

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Recreation & Leisure sector include:

  • Park Ranger
  • Fitness Center Manager
  • Coach
  • Amusement Park Manager
  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors
  • Recreation Coordinator
  • Recreation Assistants
  • Food Service Worker
  • Nanny

9. Technology

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Technology sector include:

  • Data Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • Point of Sale specialist
  • E-commerce manager
  • IT Support Technician
  • Database administrator
Cruise ships offer many entry-level job opportunities
Cruise ships offer many entry-level job opportunities

10. Cruise

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Cruise sector include:

  • Deck Crew
  • Cruise Directors
  • Disc Jockeys
  • Expedition Leaders
  • Hosts and Hostesses
  • Naturalists
  • Shore Excursion Managers
  • Water Sports Instructors
  • Fitness Directors
  • Medical Staff
  • Air/Sea Reservation Agents
  • Bartenders
  • Gift Shop Positions
  • Photographers
  • Junior Assistant Pursers
  • Information Technology Staff
  • Administration Assistants
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Casino Staff
  • Cruise Staff
  • Entertainers
  • Gentleman Host
  • Lecturers
  • Production Managers
  • Shore Excursion Staff
  • Lifeguards
  • Beauticians
  • Massage Therapists
  • Fitness Instructors
  • Personal Trainers
  • Bar Stewards
  • Bedroom StewardsHospitality or Hotel Managers
  • Deckhands
  • Pursers
  • Dance Instructors
  • Booking Agents
  • Sales and Marketing Positions
  • Engineering Department Crew

11. Casino

Some of the most common job titles that fall under the Casino sector include:

  • Casino floor runner
  • Cocktail server
  • Casino host
  • Bartender
  • Casino cage cashier
  • Casino teller
  • Accountant
  • Cleaners
  • Kitchen staff
  • Slot machine technician
  • Executive chef
  • Valet attendant
  • Shuttle driver
  • Surveillance officer
  • Security officer
  • Slot machine attendant
  • Casino dealer
  • Concierge

What are the advantages of a career in hospitality and tourism?

  • Diverse and dynamic work environment
  • Offers a variety of career paths
  • It’s a flexible environment
  • The skills you get are transferable
  • With experience, you can work anywhere in the world
  • Entry-level job opportunities
  • Great perks
  • You get to interact with people from all walks of life

What are the disadvantages of a career in hospitality and tourism?

  • It’s not a normal 8-5 job.
  • You can expect to work extended hours.
  • The hospitality industry is 24x7x365 and you will be required to work over weekends and public holidays.
  • Expect to spend most of your shift on your feet.
  • High-pressure environment

The great thing about tourism and hospitality is that it offers many entry-level job opportunities. For a recent graduate, this can help you get a job with no experience and as you gain experience you can work your way up to higher-level jobs. If for example, you are interested in a career in food and beverage, you can start as a kitchen assistant and work your way from there to a Head Chef.

Now that you understand the different sectors in hospitality, you can decide which function best matches your skills and interests. When it comes to hospitality jobs, there are plenty of amazing opportunities available. We will dive more deeply into the different types of hospitality jobs in the articles to follow in this series over the next few weeks.

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