It is not just about travel agencies and hotel keeping. Look around -
restaurants, resorts, gaming and entertainment, cruise ships, theme parks, guest
houses, game lodges, tour guiding, air travel, airline catering, international
conference centres, historic trains and country clubs make up what has now
become the world's largest industry.
Why Hospitality and Tourism? In the last 30 years, Hotel schools world wide have come to the realisation that the subjects they present - Food & Beverage, Accommodation, Tourism, together with more mainstream business school subjects - Accounting, Communications, Marketing and Human Resource Management - the focus on practical as well as theoretical training, the emphasis on traditional values of service and hospitality, they prepare young people for much more than the "relatively" narrow field of hotel keeping.
Hotel School Graduates today seek careers in all manner of lodging businesses from the small bush lodge in a remote area, to timeshare resorts and luxury 5 star City Centre Hotels. Some never get
past their love for all things culinary, restaurants, contract catering, airline catering, events - whenever people work and play, you find food.
- The recent boom in Casino based development and the truly international Convention Centres have created new opportunities in South Africa.
- In Europe, top drawer retail chains value the service ethic and commercial orientation of graduates and target them for their own management
- Tour Operators service providers and professional conference organisers seek out hotel people with their particular orientation.
- Some students develop marvellous carriers on functional lines: accountancy, as marketers, with industry specific software suppliers, as training consultants.
In summary, this varied, diverse industry we refer to as Hospitality and Tourism - identified by government and private sector alike as providing the region's best chance for sustained economic growth - provides real opportunities for young people with skill and dedication.