Hospitality and Tourism

Meet Your Industry Advisor

Philip Wilkerson

Philip Wilkerson Hospitality and Tourism Industry Advisor

Those who work in the hospitality and tourism industry provide customer service to travelers and guests on vacation or business travel. Professions include leadership positions in hotels and resorts, restaurants, catering, event planning, gaming, national parks, and cultural sites and tours. 

Just like traditional business settings, hotels, restaurants, and event planning companies also require a host of administrative and support roles such as human resources, accounting, advertising, and public relations.


Skills needed for a career in hospitality and tourism

  • Customer service
  • Communication, both written and verbal
  • Collaboration and team skills
  • Interpersonal skills with all levels of management
  • Business management
  • Public relations
  • Event coordination
  • Marketing and sales
  • Organization and time management
  • Project management and multi-tasking
  • Self-starter and team player
  • Detail and deadline oriented
  • Calm and personable under pressure
  • Negotiating
  • Budget management
  • Staff management

Degrees and Certifications

How to Get Started

4 steps to get you started in hospitality and tourism

  1. Get involved with student organizations on campus such as Eta Sigma Delta: International Hospitality Management Society
  2. Work part-time in a variety of positions. Some larger hotel and lodging chains have internships for college students.
  3. Develop a target list of 50-75 hospitality/tourism organizations. By developing a target list, you can organize information about the application dates, missions, and desired qualifications for the organizations that are of the most interest to you.
  4. Keep up with the news and trends in the hospitality and tourism industry.


Research, get experience, and get connected to contacts in hospitality and tourism

Job Functions

Lodging Managers

Lodging Managers make sure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience, while also ensuring that an establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Travel Agents

Travel Agents sell transportation, lodging, and admission to entertainment activities to individuals and groups who are planning trips. They offer advice on destinations, plan trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements for clients.

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners coordinate all aspects of professional meetings and events. They choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details.

Food Service Managers

Food Service Managers manage the daily operation of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience and the business is profitable.

Gaming Service occupations

Professionals in the gaming industry serve customers in gambling establishments such as casinos or racetracks. Some workers tend slot machines, deal cards, or oversee other gaming activities such as keno or bingo. Others take bets or pay out winnings. Still others supervise or manage gaming workers and operations.