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 post-secondary 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.