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What Is the Hospitality Industry?

The Hospitality Industry is a very broad category. Yet there is a common denominator for all subsectors included in it. The most defining feature of these subsectors is offering excellent customer service to people seeking leisure and good cuisine. Hospitality is always assured in this industry, no matter whether customers come to have good time in restaurants, bars, hotels, motels, resorts, spas, casinos, theme parks, or on cruise ships. Being broad, the Hospitality Industry offers a lot of job opportunities and is highly labor intensive. Many professionals are required to run hospitality business smoothly and profitably.

The Hospitality Industry is also one of the most prosperous industries influencing the economy of the United States. Last year, the revenue of the Hospitality Industry reached 199.0 billion US dollars. Its most profitable subsector is Accommodations, accounting for over 19% of total travel- and tourism-related spending. People on average spend US$290 billion a year on hotel accommodations. Thanks to such popularity, the Accommodation subsector of the Hospitality Industry in the USA supports more than 3.5 million jobs. Another large subsector of the Hospitality Industry is the Food Services. It accounts for more than 15% of total travel- and tourism-related spending. Customers spend around US$230 billion on food every year. There are 2 million job positions in the Food Services sector, with more of them opening almost every month.


What Are the Major Subcategories of the Hospitality Industry?

The main feature of the Hospitality Industry is providing excellent customer service. That is, the professionalism of employees is what ensures a company’s business success in this sector, especially in its three main subcategories: The Accommodations or Hotels, Food Services or Restaurants, and Travel and Tourism Industries.  

The Hotel Industry

The Hotel Industry is one of the oldest industries in the world, dating back to the ancient times of 200, 000 years ago, when people must have given shelters in their caves to wandering members of other tribes. In the times of the Roman Antiquity, beds, relaxation, and entertainment were provided to the weary in bathhouses and spas. During the Middle Ages, people sought lodgings in monasteries and abbeys usually located in the outskirts of European cities. The popularity of religious pilgrimages to various shrines and the strengthening of trading links between countries created a need to build more inns, taverns, and hotels in cities and towns, where travelling pilgrims and merchants could rest before resuming their journey. Since then, the Hotel Industry has never stopped expanding, developing into a strong asset to any country’s economy. It has long turned into a complex category and now includes different types of accommodations such as the following:

  • Luxury Hotels - This kind of the hotels provides full-service accommodations and restaurants along with the high level of professional services. Luxury hotels are classified as Five Stars in the hotel rating. The most well-known examples of luxury hotels are the InterContinental, Fairmont, Conrad, Four Seasons, the Peninsula, Grand Hyatt, and the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Lifestyle Hotels - This type of hotels contains branded accommodations designed to attract customers who have a particular life style or self-image. Lifestyle hotels are considered to be quirky, avant-garde, trendy, and funky. Their aim is to provide a unique, personalized experience to every guest. Lifestyle hotels are more affordable than Boutique Hotels.
  • Boutique Hotels - These are small and intimate hotels, stylishly decorated and carrying a personal note. Their most prominent feature is a special theme that favorably distinguishes them from branded hotels. Like luxury hotels, they have full service accommodations but provide a more personalized service. Boutique hotels are usually situated in a fashionable urban area and have an independent, fun, and trendy spirit. Examples of the most famous boutique hotels include W Hotels and Shangri-La Hotels.
  • Full-Service Hotels - This kind of hotels offers on-site facilities and various guest services. Among the amenities provided by full-service hotels are room service and restaurants, meeting and conference services, fitness center, and business center. The most notable examples of full-service hotels are Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt Regency.
  • Economy and Limited Services Hotels - The size of this type of hotels is medium or small. Other distinguishing features of the economy or limited services hotels are basic accommodations with few services and basic on-site amenities. People staying in such hotels are not looking for personalized experience but are rather concerned with receiving affordable services. Void of on-site restaurants, economy and limited services hotels may offer continental breakfast services to their guests. Among the well-known examples of these hotels are Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Days Inn.
  • Motels – These accommodations are so-called motor hotels. They are small-size and low-cost accommodations providing access to rooms from the car park. Designed to serve road travelers and truck drivers, motels are often located close to highways at the edge of towns.

The Hotel Industry is still fast-growing: there are as many as 500,000 hotels around the world, and many more are being built or are opening in the near future. The retail value of the global Hotel Industry is around 495 billion US dollars. The Travel and Tourism Industry, under which the Hotel Industry is often listed, on average contributes 7.6 trillion US dollars to the global economy.


What Positions Are Available in the Hospitality Industry?

The professionalism of the people working in the Hospitality Industry is the major factor contributing to its success. Jobs in this sector include domestic work; that is, such positions as housekeeping, concierge, butler, casino host, guest services supervisor, front desk supervisor, reservationist, event planner, and shift manager, among others. Hotels also hire employees with specialized skills. There are pool lifeguards, chefs, waiters, bartenders, and maintenance workers employed in many hotels. If you are considering a possibility of building a career in the Hospitality Industry, please read on. We are providing more detailed descriptions of some of these occupations below:

The Concierge

This professional provides different services to customers. The most important duty concierges perform is liaising with people, satisfying or even anticipating their needs. Among other things, concierges give customers information about locations and various services outside the hotel. They book transportation and entertainment activities for hotel guests. Concierges also answer phones and emails, arrange package deliveries, make and confirm reservations, order amenities to guests’ rooms, and arrange babysitting for their children. Because concierges directly interact with customers, they should possess excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. Friendliness is also expected from them along with good organizational skills. The duties of the concierges also include coordinating guests’ requests, planning of events, maintaining supply of brochures, handouts, flyers, and maps, replenishing of lobby refreshments, scheduling of various activities, and making travel arrangements, activities that are difficult to perform without good organizational skills. Being patient is also a strong asset in this role. Concierges do not need to have a degree to be employed. Yet some hotels prefer hiring people with work experience in the Hospitality Industry to ensure that tasks pertaining to this job are properly fulfilled.  

The Front Desk Supervisor

This employee ensures that people staying in the hotel receive overall positive and pleasant experience. The most important responsibilities placed at the door of the front desk supervisor are checking guests in and checking them out, replying to their questions, answering phones, and making reservations.  To excel in this role, the front desk supervisor should have the following skills and abilities:

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Patience and composure;
  • Multitasking;
  • Flexibility;
  • Friendliness;
  • Enthusiasm;
  • Good organizational skills;
  • Problem-solving abilities.

Although some hotels employ front desk staff without any degree, others prefer their employees to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in business, administration, or hospitality. The average salary of the front desk supervisor in the United States ranges from US$31,549 to US$43,470, depending on the level of the hotel in which he or she works.

The Hotel Manager

As the title of this position suggests, the hotel manager is responsible for the smooth operation of the hotel or motel. The hotel manager’s major duty is to supervise the hotel staff, from the front door assistant to cleaning maids, ensuring that all employees are doing their job quickly and effectively. Apart from managing the hotel staff, hotel managers shoulder other responsibilities: they create the hotel’s budget, define rooms’ prices and rates, conduct interviews, and train new employees. The hotel manager also sees to it that the general atmosphere in the hotel is pleasant and friendly and that all conflicts between employees are kept under control. The most important qualities and skills that the hotel manager should possess are leadership and problem-solving, both of which are indispensable for managing employees and assisting guests with their queries. Managers also need to have excellent managing skills, since they supervise others, plan budgets, and create work schedules. They deliver good customer service, demonstrating amicability and politeness to guests and co-workers. Even though some hotels hire managers only with the high school diploma, the majority of them want their managers to have a bachelor’s or master’s degrees in business management or hospitality. Hotel managers may also have a degree or work experience in accounting, economics, marketing, engineering, or hotel administration. The good knowledge of computers and different software is a plus. On average, hotel managers earn US$46,880 per year.

Other job opportunities include but are not limited to the following roles: 

Job Title

The Main Duties

The Hotel Receptionist

Register guests, reserve rooms, perform a cashier’s work, credit checks, control keys, and provide message services.

The Reservationist

Answer calls from people who want to make a room reservation, record booking, and upsell.

The Meeting Manager

Plan large and small events and meetings, select locations, arrange for meals and speakers, oversee entertainment, and arrange transportation.

The Executive Chef

Supervise cooks, sous chefs, and other kitchen employers, order food, plan the meals, and prepare food in the kitchen.

The Restaurant Manager

Maintain restaurant’s revenue, good quality, and profitability, and ensure that restaurant overall runs smoothly.

The Shift Manager

Assign each hotel employee tasks based on his or her competencies and duties, set performance metrics for everyone in the team, and maintain a positive environment in the hotel.

The Spa Manager

Handle bookkeeping, supervise services offered by the spa, manage staff, develop budgets, and create promotion campaigns.

The Housekeeper

Maintain a standard of cleanness in the hotel and its vicinities, make beds, do laundry, clean bathrooms, and stock linens.

The Maid

Make beds, tidy rooms, clean toilets, wash floors, remove stains, and vacuum.

The Maintenance Worker

Attend to guests’ repair requests, perform preventive maintenance on tools and equipment, inspect machines, and perform basic repair of all sorts of equipment.


How to Prepare for the Hospitality and Hotel Industry?

Click on one of the companies below to buy the study material for its hiring process. 

Hospitality & Travel Employers
Marriott Corporation Marriott International 21c Museum Hotels
Ace Hotel Affinity Gaming Airbnb
American Hotel Register Company AmericInn Ameristar Casinos
AMResorts Andaz (hotel) Aqua Hotels and Resorts
Aramark Argosy Gaming Company Aspen Skiing Company
Auberge Resorts Autograph Collection Hotels Aztar
Best Value Inn Best Western Bloomin' Brands
Bluefish (company) Boyd Gaming Brinker International
Budget Host Caesars Entertainment Corporation Caesars Entertainment, Inc.
Cannery Casino Resorts Chartres Lodging Group Chartwell Leisure
Cherokee Nation Businesses Choice Hotels Club Quarters
Coast Casinos Cobblestone Hotels Columbia Sussex
Crestline Hotels & Resorts Crown American Days Inn
Delaware North Denihan Hospitality Group Desires Hotels
Destination Hotels Diamond Resorts International Disney Regional Entertainment
Dotty's Dwellable Epoque Hotels
Extended Stay America FlipKey Gate Petroleum
Gaylord Hotels Grand Casinos The Greenspun Corporation
Hedonism Resorts HEI Hotels & Resorts Hilton Worldwide
Holiday Inn Holiday Inn Express HomeSuite
Hospitality International Host Hotels & Resorts Hotels.com
Hotspur Resorts HVS Global Hospitality Services Hyatt
InnDependent Boutique Collection InnSuites Hotels InterContinental
Interstate Hotels & Resorts Isle of Capri Casinos Jack Entertainment
Jacobs Entertainment Joie de Vivre Hospitality KemperSports
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Kokua Hospitality Landry's, Inc.
Las Vegas Sands Loews Hotels Luxury Resorts
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group McMenamins MGM Resorts International
Millennium Management Group Mirage Resorts Montage Hotels & Resorts
MoreHotels4Less.com Morgans Hotel Group Morrison Management Specialists
Motel 8 MTR Gaming Group N9NE Group
Nylo Hotels Omni Hotels & Resorts The ONE Group
Otalo.com Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Penn National Gaming Pinnacle Entertainment Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Primm Valley Resorts Promus Companies Promus Hotel Corporation
Radisson Hotels Ramada International Red Carpet Inn
Red Lion Hotels Corporation Red Roof Inn Resorts International
Resorts International Holdings The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Riviera Holdings
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Ryman Hospitality Properties Sage Hospitality Resources
SBE Entertainment Group The Siegel Group Silverleaf Resorts
Standard Hotels Starwood Station Casinos
Super 8 Motels Susse Chalet Tage Inn
Tamares Group Temple Square Hospitality Tishman Realty & Construction
Trans World Corporation Tripping.com Tropicana Entertainment
Tru by Hilton Trump Entertainment Resorts The Trump Organization
Vail Resorts Value Place Vantage Hospitality
Virgin Hotels Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Warwick Hotels and Resorts
Welk Resort Group WhiteTie Winegardner and Hammons
WMPH Vacations Woolley’s Classic Suites Wyndham Worldwide
Wynn Resorts H.I.S.  Brookdale Senior Living 
RehabCare AcceptanceNOW Flight Centre Travel Group

JobTestPrep makes an all-out effort to help job applicants become employed in the Hospitality Industry. To achieve this goal, we have brought together in one sophisticated PrepPack™ exact simulations of those tests that you may meet during your pre-employment assessment. Added to these tests are answer keys and detailed study guides, with which you can track your progress and improve your overall performance. Our interview materials, also included in our PrepPack™, will give you advice on how to impress your recruiters during your phone and in-person interviews. Purchase our resources and start working in your desired position in the Hospitality Industry.

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