What is hospitiality, leisure and tourism?
Hospitality, leisure and tourism jobs cover all kinds of experiences, from travel and dining out to visiting museums or even running a theme park. It’s all about making sure people have a good time, whether they’re heading abroad or staying at home. At the heart of these sectors are the wonderful, friendly folk who make sure we get the best out of our time off.
What hospitiality, leisure and tourism jobs can I do?
Hospitality and tourism are booming industries in the UK and there is a huge range of jobs out there:
- Hotel jobs: Hotels employ lots of different staff from doormen to housekeepers and receptionists. There are opportunities to work your way up to management and, if you work for a big hotel chain, there are chances for travel too.
- Chefs and caterers: These guys are needed everywhere, from hotels and restaurants to sports events and weddings, so there are plenty of opportunities to move around, run a kitchen, train other chefs or specialise. Check out this 60 second interview with a chef to learn more.
- Airline staff: Airlines employ flight attendants to ensure that passengers have a relaxing and safe journey. You’ll get to travel all over the world and to manage or train your own flight crews. To find out about becoming a pilot, check out this How to become... guide.
- Tour guides and operators: Use their know-how to show people round the sites of a city or even a whole country. Tour guides can be experts in history or foreign languages.
- Instructors: If you’re a future tennis pro or an expert mountaineer, you could become a sports / activities instructor, organising activities or coaching for holidaymakers abroad or through local clubs in your neighbourhood. Take a look at our Sport and Fitness Career Zone.
- Waiter: As a waiter in restaurants and bars, you have the chance to work your way up to run the restaurant as Maitre D'. Bars can also employ specialist staff like mixologists to create cocktails.
- Curators: Museum curators and librarians make sure that collections, like books, art and artefacts, are looked after, organised and made exciting for the people who come to see them.
- Admin roles: In each area there are lots of roles for managers and administrators plus chances for promotion. Check out our Administrative & Clerical Career Zone to learn more.
Is a career in hospitiality, leisure and tourism for me?
You’ll need to be patient and think on your feet when problems come up.
Attention to detail and creativity are also handy when it comes to planning events and activities.
There are also plenty of opportunities for travel in your career if you work for an airline, tour operator or hotel chain.
How can I start a career in hospitiality, leisure and tourism?
For bar, waiting and hotel staff training is often given on the job. Some restaurants also offer apprenticeships for chefs.
Flight attendants get on-the-job training too. Most airlines will ask for at least 4 GCSEs at 9-4 including English and Maths. Foreign languages are a real bonus too.
Vocational training is a great way in. You could opt for an NVQ in travel and tourism services, which will give you grounding in customer service. If catering is your thing, you can study at a culinary college or institute after GCSEs. There are intermediate apprenticeships available for activity leaders and fitness instructors and well as travel reps and advisors.
There are also lots of management training schemes open for graduates with any degree.
Museum curators usually need a degree and / or a postgraduate qualification in subjects like museum studies, education, history or science subjects depending on the type of museum they want to work at.
Nothing beats getting some early work experience too. Restaurants, shops and hotels are some of the top sources of part-time work for school students. You could also try volunteering at your local museum or a kids' summer school.
What hospitiality, leisure and tourism qualifications are available?
There are lots of opportunities for management training for people on the job.
There are also chances to gain NVQ qualifications and diplomas in food and beverage service, hospitality and catering, and hotel management, to name a few.
Did you know these hospitiality, leisure and tourism facts?
- Six out of the top ten largest hotels in the world are in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- The Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel, which will be submerged 28 feet underwater, has got the go-ahead for construction off the Florida coast.
- With 14 inversions, The Smiler at Alton Towers boasts more upside-downs than any other roller coaster in the world.