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Tourism vs. Hospitality - Decoding the Differences

Guests checking in at the front desk of a hotel

The hospitality and tourism industries are closely connected, but they are not the same thing. Though both connect to travel and leisure, these two industries have distinct differences that need to be understood if you are considering a degree or career in the field. By knowing how they are different, you can choose the right degree that will help you achieve your desired career path.

What is the Difference Between Tourism and Hospitality?

Hospitality is a field that focuses on providing accommodations to visitors at hospitality-related industries, such as hotels, motels, restaurants, cruise ships, country clubs, casinos, and convention centers, while tourism is focused on providing quality attractions and events in order to entice tourists to come.

For each of these fields to be successful, they focus on specific ways to keep people satisfied so they will return. Hospitality businesses must build strong relationships with their guests to not only prevent them from going to a competitor, but to keep them coming back. Many tourism businesses are classified as hospitality businesses as they must also have meaningful relationships, but they are more focused on traveling activities that may include heavy planning and marketing.

What are the Similarities Between Tourism and Hospitality?

Both the hospitality and tourism industries focus on serving people when they travel. These are highly competitive and always-changing fields that require people to be able to adapt to a changing market and work environment. Both tourism and hospitality professionals need to be good marketers to draw potential clients and customers to their industries.

What Jobs are there in the Travel and Tourism Industry?

The travel and tourism industry focuses on helping people plan and execute their travel arrangements. Some jobs in tourism management include:

Travel Agent

A travel agent is a great career path for people who majored in tourism. Travel agents work with their clients to plan their trips, so they must be highly organized and have a knowledge of the travel industry so they can book resorts, cruise ships, airline travel, and more for their clients.

Travel agents also assist clients with their travel budgets by calculating travel costs and helping clients choose trips and adventures that fit within their budget. They also can assist clients with getting their passports or other paperwork in order so they can legally travel.

The pay for a travel agent varies because they often earn commissions based on the trips and services they book, as well as the setting they work in. Travel agents can work independently or work with a travel agency, depending on the demand in their area.

Flight Attendant

A flight attendant works in an airline to help travelers get to their destination safely and comfortably. While travelers often see the simple work of the flight attendant, such as passing out snacks and collecting garbage, flight attendants are also trained on how to help protect passenger safety if something goes wrong.

Flight attendants need to be good at working with people, even those who are not in a good mood or who face frustration when they travel. One of the main benefits of this profession is getting to travel to and explore many destinations around the world.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for flight attendants will increase by 17% from 2019 to 2029, so it is a great time to pursue this career path.

What Jobs Are There in the Hospitality Industry?

Jobs within hotels, restaurants, and event centers tend to fall in the hospitality industry category. Hotel managers, event managers, hotel clerks, bar managers, and chefs are just a few examples in this industry, with details as follows:

Hotel Manager

A hotel manager makes sure that guests are comfortable during their stay in a hotel or resort. They may have to arrange for blankets or other amenities to be taken to hotel rooms, oversee the employees of the hotel, and ensure that supplies, like soap and shampoo, are ordered in a timely manner. On a resort property, the hotel manager may also be in charge of entertainment. The exact setting or location will dictate exact duties and responsibilities for this role. Overall, it is the manager's job to handle customer service needs that pop up during a guest's stay.

Event Manager

An event manager or event planner helps plan large events to ensure all attendees enjoy the experience. These individuals, like others in the hospitality industry, need to be highly organized. Event managers will plan all of the details, gather bids from venues and vendors, coordinate transportation for attendees, arrange for food, and even connect with local hotels to ensure people have a place to stay. They help their clients manage and maximize their budgets and ensure that everything is ready when the special event starts.

The BLS estimates that this career will grow 8% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than average. Approximately 10,800 new jobs will be created in this field, so it is a great time to consider pursuing a position in event management.

Concierge

A concierge is employed by a resort or event center to help guests book entertainment and enjoy their stay more fully. These professionals need to know their local area well so they can connect guests to the entertainment options that best fit their tastes and desires for their trip.

Concierge professionals tend to be employed by high-end resorts and luxury hotels. Distinguished guests expect to have someone to help them book their services and are willing to tip well for this service.

Restaurant and Catering Professionals

The hospitality industry is also the industry that covers restaurants and catering services. While those interested in opening a restaurant or catering business will also need to explore foodservice training, training in hospitality will help them understand the customer service side of this industry. These professionals can work anywhere where food and beverage are prepared and served, including hotels, resorts, and restaurants.

Start Your Hospitality or Tourism Journey Today!

If the tourism and hospitality industries are appealing to you, then finding a career in these fields or industry may require further education. Bryant & Stratton College has a number of hospitality degree programs, including associate degrees and diplomas, that can help you get started in this field. Reach out to the admissions team at Bryant & Stratton College to learn more about these programs and to determine if they are the right fit for your career path.

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