What Does Hospitality Management Mean?

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Jacob Peterson

Jacob Peterson is a professional writer, editor, and educator with over 10 years of experience. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science (in Science, Technology, and Culture). He formerly worked in the education industry, where he focused on helping students gain admission to top universities through test prep, advising, and curriculum design. He currently runs Elevation Editing, an on-demand writing and editing company that offers a variety of services, including special help with college application essays.

You are probably familiar with the common meaning of “hospitality“—referring to generous or friendly treatment of others, particularly those who are visiting your home.

However, this term has another meaning when applied to the service industry.

In this article, we delve into what “hospitality management” means, including the most popular related careers, the field’s job outlook, and the types of skills you’ll need to be successful in the industry. 

What Is the Hospitality Industry?

The hospitality industry consists of all aspects of the service sector that are focused on providing services to visiting guests; this encompasses hotels, restaurants, bars, event centers, and other businesses related to food, travel, and lodging. A person who works in catering, on a cruise ship, at a national park, or in a museum is also part of the hospitality industry.

Workers in the hospitality industry provide services, knowledge, and even entertainment to their guests. The goal is to create the most positive experience possible. Tourism is a large source of business for the hospitality industry, but many guests are simply locals who seek a good time.

What Does a Hospitality Manager Do?

Technically, it is rare to see someone with the title “hospitality manager”; management positions in the hospitality industry typically have more specific titles, such as hotel manager,” “restaurant manager,” and “event organizer.” Regardless of their exact titles, these managers focus on administration, supervision, personnel management, scheduling, marketing, and budgeting. They also help deal with dissatisfied customers.

In short, hospitality management includes any management position within the hospitality industry. The general duties are similar for all positions, but the specifics may differ across employers. Unlike managers in other sectors, hospitality managers focus on improving business by enhancing customer service for each guest.

What Is the Difference Between Hospitality Management and Hotel Management?

Put simply, hotel management is a subset of hospitality management. You may find some degree programs in hotel management; these degrees include in-depth studies on the specifics of hotel management. Hospitality management degrees, on the other hand, are more general; they focus not only on hotels but also on restaurants, event planning, and such.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Hospitality Management Degree?

In your search for an entry-level job in hospitality management, consider the following positions:

  • General manager for a hotel or other accommodation provider
  • Operations manager for a hotel, resort, casino, or convention center
  • Event organizer or planner
  • Cafeteria, restaurant, or bar manager
  • Director of a cruise ship, theater, museum, or other entertainment venues

There are hundreds of affordable programs in hospitality management (including online degrees), and many of them offer courses that focus on one specific job or field, such as hotel management. You can also get a master’s degree in hospitality management to give yourself a leg up on the competition.

Is Hospitality Management a Good Career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three main areas in the hospitality management business: lodging managers; meeting, convention, and event planners; and food service managers. These career types share many benefits, including decent median salaries (between $50,000 and $55,000 annually) and reasonable minimum education requirements (no more than a bachelor’s degree).

However, individuals in these areas face varying future conditions. Lodging management is projected to lose 12% of its jobs by 2029, but food service management is projected to increase by 1%, and the planning area is projected to grow by 8%. Keep this information in mind as you search for a specific subject to study in hospitality management school.

What Skills Make for a Good Hospitality Manager?

To succeed in hospitality management, you will need to do more than just work hard. Every hospitality management worker needs other skills, such as:

  • High attention to detail (to help organize complex systems and important events)
  • An outgoing personality (to provide superlative guest services)
  • The ability to work well with a team (to help manage staff across various departments)
  • The capacity to communicate clearly with all people (including angry customers)
  • Top-notch problem-solving skills (to resolve disputes and give customers what they want)

Other skills are helpful as well. For instance, knowledge of new software tools can help you succeed in high-tech workplaces. In addition, it helps to understand the concepts that your workers deal with regularly, such as those related to cooking, cleaning, and customer service.


Whether one works in a hotel or in another type of business, hospitality management provides one of the best ways for a people-oriented individual to have a fulfilling and ever-changing career. There are many hospitality management careers available, so, if you search for it, you will find the perfect job for you.