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Months ago, a friend from my home country of Canada asked me a question I hadn’t thought of before. She asked me “Where can you work with your hospitality degree? It’s not Canadian, so wouldn’t it be harder to find work in Canada or other countries besides where your degree is from?” I did not hesitate and answered, “Of course I can work in Canada! I can work anywhere! In fact, I have met Les Roches alumni from all over the world, working all over the world!”
However, she didn’t believe me, so I created this small essay for her to read about how the world is actively looking for hospitality professionals, due to a rapidly growing industry. The wonderful thing about the hospitality field is that you can be from another country and work almost anywhere you please, subject to foreign country work visa requirements of course!
In honor of that conversation, I have provided the details and data to back my argument and to prove to the world that a hospitality degree is needed and can be used anywhere in the world!
I first credit my own university, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, with showing just how large and well-developed the industry already is. According to their website, 8.7% of the world’s employment is in the hospitality and tourism industry. Just think about it, out of billions of jobs worldwide, almost 9% of the jobs are in hospitality and tourism. That is an incredible statistic! To think just a few decades ago, the number of worldwide jobs in the industry were not nearly as close to what they are today!
A few years ago, Qatar was hit with a large influx of foreigners to the country and the trend has continued ever since. The beautiful Arabian Peninsula saw an increase in leisure travelers in 2012 by 29.9% and saw spending by the same foreigners increase by 36.7% or $6.4 billion in total (2).
In 2015, there were some countries which had an increase in tourism by almost 100%! Paraguay had an increase by 97%, or 1.27 million tourists, and Tajikistan by 94%, or 414,000 tourists.
Even already established tourist countries like Japan, Iceland, Thailand, Chile, Hungary and Cuba saw an increase in the number of tourists entering their nations. Japan received 20 million more tourists, an increase of 47.5%. Game of Throne’s breathtaking Iceland had 1.3 million more tourists, which is an 29.8% increase overall. Thailand saw an increase of 22.3%, with 30.3 million more tourists visiting their incredible tropical islands. The coastal and rugged country of Chile had 4.5 million more tourists, a 20.4% increase. Europe’s fascinating Hungary saw an increase of 19.1%, which resulted in 14.5 million more tourists. Cuba, with its gorgeous beaches and fun vibes, saw 3.48 million more tourists, which represented an increase of 17.3% in tourism.
Every single one of these countries mentioned above needs an ever-increasing number of hospitality professionals for their growing industry. How is Thailand, with an increase of a whopping 30.3 million tourists a year, supposed to handle this increased volume of tourists without new hotels and restaurants that, in turn, require educated managers to run the growing number of businesses? The answer: They can’t! They need more highly skilled employees! They need people with hospitality degrees and experience, just like all the other countries with continual tourism growth.
With this increase, many countries cannot find qualified workers and managers in their own country to fill these positions.
Australia alone was looking for 56,000 more foreign hospitality workers for the country in 2015. In the UK, advocates have stated that a decrease in foreign hospitality workers coming to the country could be a large threat to the UK hospitality industry (6).
To summarize, the hospitality industry is currently a massive worldwide industry, which is growing every year due to the increased appetite for world travel. Some countries are seeing millions of new tourists each year. This growth means many countries need more hotels, more restaurants and more skilled workers overall. As a result, hospitality professionals are in demand all over the world. Many hotels and restaurants are looking for skilled employees abroad to fill the empty spots — and Les Roches students are here to fill them!
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