Hospitality & Tourism

When you pick up takeout food, eat in a restaurant or cafeteria, and enjoy food at catered events, you're helping support the hospitality industry. If you travel and stay in a hotel, bed-and-breakfast, or RV park, the tourism industry benefits. Going to baseball games, casinos, and museums are other activities that contribute to this industry's part of the economy.

As in most clusters, technology has changed how people work and serve customers. Some restaurants have recently decided to give customers tablets to use for ordering and paying for meals and for playing games while waiting to be served. Computer systems allow managers to track inventory and to set up worker schedules.

Hospitality and tourism occupations include many entry-level positions. Although some management jobs require postsecondary education, a high school diploma is sufficient for a number of occupations. The work environment for these occupations varies according to job function. Kitchen employees work in hot, noisy surroundings while event planners may spend much of their time in an office. Tourism workers often have schedules that depend on their locations and on special events and seasons. Industries that tend to employ the highest number of hospitality and tourism workers include full-service and fast-food restaurants, hotels and motels, janitorial companies, and public schools.

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Core Skills

The following Core Skills are necessary for success in these occupations.

  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people
  • Management of Financial Resources - Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions
  • Management of Material Resources - Managing equipment and materials
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements

Career Pathways

Career Story

Daniel Griffin

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

A.A.S., Hospitality Management

"I am able to use the skills I learned in school to shape the operation."

For Daniel Griffin, Director of Food and Beverage at Aloft Hotel, a field trip to a local hotel as part of a class at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College led Daniel to know that he wanted to work at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Asheville.

“Everyone loved their job and the company they were working for, so I knew that it was the place for me.”

While still enrolled in the Hospitality Management program at A-B Tech, Daniel started an internship at the Aloft Hotel, starting at the front desk and working in all aspects of the hotel and restaurant. After one year, he worked his way up to his current position and oversees the hotel’s restaurants as well as banquets and special events.

Daniel loves the people with whom he works.

“I had never worked for a company where I felt like I was a part of a family. I also love the creative freedom this position allows. I am able to use the skills I learned in school to shape the operation of the food and beverage department while also collaborating with other departments.”

Daniel credits the education he received at A-B Tech with his acceptance and fast rise to management. The local hospitality industries work closely with A-B Tech to ensure they are developing employees who can work in all aspects of the hospitality industry.

Daniel’s advice to those considering a career in hospitality is to immerse yourself in the industry as soon as possible, like he did through his internship. This process will allow you to have experience in the industry/career that you aspire to and also help you begin building your network of industry professionals.

Go to Career Cluster Matrix to find occupations by cluster and interest type.