Hotel management is an area of the hospitality industry that involves overseeing the operations of a hotel or lodging-related business.
Hotel management covers the operational aspects of each hotel department, such as housekeeping, food inventory, finance, distribution, and customer service. Hotel management requires a variety of skills, such as business, marketing, leadership, financial, and customer service skills. Hotel management can be a challenging but fulfilling career that lets you work all over the world and create memorable experiences for guests4. Hotel management is different from hospitality management, which has a broader focus on the travel industry and the experience economy
The hospitality industry includes many career paths and options for those who enjoy interacting with people and providing them with the support they need. One of these options is a career in hotel management, which involves operating and overseeing a hotel location.
If you are considering this option for your career, it is helpful to understand more about what to expect when working in the role. In this article, we discuss hotel management as a career, how it differs from hospitality management and how you can build the skills you need to become successful in this field.
An evolving industry
The world of hospitality continues to expand. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, and will create over 80 million new jobs over the next ten years. The travel and tourism sector will account for one in nine jobs by the year 2026.
A hotel manager needs to know the current industry trends. They are aware that their hotel needs to evolve and change in order to stay current.
A hotel manager operating in the modern marketplace faces the challenge of creating positive emotional experiences at a time when automation and AI are becoming commonplace in hospitality. Today’s travellers still want the human aspect, but they also want efficiency and hassle-free processes. It’s the hotel manager’s responsibility to combine these two elements in a way that benefits both the guest and the business.
What do you need?
You need a range of soft and hard skills to be a successful hotel manager. Furthermore, you also need to gain first-hand experience of the industry. Many future managers embark on internships to gain more experience, working at hotels of varying ranges, reputations and locations. This is also a great way to complement your degree.
If you can, open a hotel
An excellent experience for any budding hotel manager is to take part in a hotel opening. It can be the new site of a leading brand or a boutique independent, either way seeing what it takes to get a hotel started gives you a true understanding of all the moving parts. Unlike taking a job at an established hotel, where you have processes in place to learn and master, at an opening hotel, you’re responsible for installing or even creating those processes.
From registration cards to restaurant menus, the smallest and biggest elements, that you would usually take for granted, will need researching and creating, all to a deadline. It’s usually all hands to the pump and it’s a great opportunity to cross roles and gain experience in different departments as you take on duties outside your comfort zone. It may even be that you can’t work in the hotel, as it’s not finished, so you’ll be doing all of this from a nearby office.
The skills you need to have include communication, teamwork and organization. However, you also need to understand and appreciate the challenges every department faces. It is important you spend time working or shadowing each part of a hotel, from finance to housekeeping. This ensures that you will have the awareness and experience to assist these departments when you become a manager.