When you play Monopoly, it's not restaurants, casinos or shopping malls you're trying to put up, it's hotels. Yep, the feeling you get when your opponent lands on one of your hotels and pays you that sweet cash should tell you something about the profitability of the tourism industry. However, your attempts to buy hotels in Monopoly are never going to be foiled by a shortage of hotel managers.
Tourism industries in real life do have to consider that issue.

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Work In Hotel Management And Watch Your World Expand
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Hotels are complex establishments that need someone to ensure everything's running smoothly, and who are also concerned about maintaining a professional image. There needs to be the sense that someone is in charge. So in an industry with no shortage of job opportunities, hotel managers in particular will always be in high demand.

Hospitality workers are desperately needed in Australia
The Australian tourism industry contributed 2.5% of the GDP in 2010/11, a total of AU$35 billion to the nation's economy, as well as 8% of the total export earnings. According to Wikipedia, there were a record number of overseas arrivals that year, with 5.9 million short-term visitors amounting to about 588 extra visitors a day.

Increasing interest from Asia ensures that number is likely to soar. Over 592,000 Chinese citizens visited Australia in 2012, compared to 513,000 the year before, and it's estimated the number of Chinese tourists vacationing abroad per year will rise to 100 million by 2015, a significant portion of which will head to Australia.

Tourism 2020 is an initiative undertaken by the Australian tourism industry in collaboration with the government to ensure they have all the resources necessary to benefit from this potential growth. The recent mining boom prompted many Australians to seek work in mining and manufacturing sectors, contributing to skill shortages in other areas, including the hospitality industry, which currently has an estimated 36,000 unfilled positions. One of Tourism 2020's primary objectives is to address this skill shortage.

Becoming a hotel manager
This presents opportunities for those seeking to pursue a career in tourism; the diversity of the industry is such that there are a variety of positions through which one can gain entry. Some become hotel managers by working their way up from one of these entry-level positions, while others do so off the back of an appropriate training program. Either way, a course in hotel management can help provide the skills and knowledge necessary to advance in the industry.

Hotel management requires communication and organizational skills. It's not just staff who have to be managed, but guests as well, and they might not all be the relaxed, easy-going tourists you were hoping for. Communication skills can be put to the test in a variety of situations, some of them potentially quite volatile. For example, a hotel manager in Kalgoorie, Australia, decided that the optimal response to such a ‘volatile’ situation was to approach a group of guests while waving a tyre iron. He demonstrated poor communication skills.

One need only watch an episode of Fawlty Towers to get a taste of the strain hotel managers are under. Of course, no one should view Basil Fawlty's antics as an instructional guide for dealing with those strains. While it may capture the realities of the hospitality industry in some ways, one way in which it differs considerably is that in the real world, none of Basil's guests would have come back.
With the demands of the position, however, come the benefits of working in an industry that will continue to see growth for years to come. By acquiring skills that can be put to use in a variety of environments all over the world, hotel managers can choose to work in a luxury hotel, an economy hotel, a boutique hotel, or maybe even a casino hotel.

The Australian tourism industry could certainly do with local skills, but students can choose to ply their trade overseas if they wish. Take, for example, Australian hotel management graduate Andrew Turner. He’s worked in hotels in Egypt, China, Ireland, and Doha, and in 2012 he ran a boutique hotel in Thailand. It goes to show that not only is hotel management is a well-paying career that is in high demand, but it also offers the opportunity to expand your world view.

Leave your comments below if you have any thing to say.
Matthew Flax
About the Author:

Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, which promotes online TAFE courses and other tertiary education opportunities in hotel management and the tourism industry in Australia.

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