Hotels are amongst the most visible and important aspects of a country's infrastructure. Hotel industry is a closely linked one to the tourism industry. A number of factors like promotion of tourism and rapid industrial progress have given a boost to hoteliering. The recent liberalisation of trade and opening up of economy will further lead to revolutionary growth in this sector.
With increasing globalisation, career opportunities in this field are not only limited within the country but there are chains of hotels which operate internationally providing scope of a career abroad. It is a glamorous profession which has a bright future. With the growth of hotel industry propelled by foreign and domestic tourism and business travel, the demand for well trained quality personnel too has grown impressively.
The diversity of experience in hotel management is greater than in any other profession. Hotel industry involves combination of various skills like management, food and beverage service, housekeeping, front office operation, sales and marketing, accounting. Today, the rise in corporate activity (leading to greater number of business trips) as well as the wish to travel on holiday has made the hotel industry a very competitive one.
One can enter this field by direct entry or through hotel management institutes. For direct entry the vacancies are generally advertised in the newspapers and the minimum prescribed qualification is graduation with 50% marks. They are trained by the hotels themselves. But Qualified personnel's are always given a higher preference.
Educational: Minimum qualification required to go for a course in hotel management is 10+2. For certificate, diploma and bachelors courses 10+2 is sufficient. Duration of certificate courses is six months to one year. Bachelor and diploma courses are of duration one and half to three years. Those with graduation can go for post graduate diploma courses the duration of which is one year.
Selection to most government recognised institutes is based on common entrance test. Test consists of English, Reasoning, General Science and General Knowledge. The test is of two hour duration and is held around April every year. The test is followed by a group discussion and interview, in which a person's personality and confidence is seen. Private institutes also conduct tests of their own, the pattern of which is almost the same.
Some of the prominent schools that conduct courses in this area are: The Oberoi centre for Learning and Development, 1 Sham Nath Marg, New Delhi- 110054; Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Rauza Bagh, Aurangabad- 431001; Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Valley View Hotel, Manipal- 576119, National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Pusa, New Delhi.
Course areas include food processing, Food and beverages service, Accommodation operation or front office, hotel accountancy, Business communication, French language, hotel engineering, computer, nutrition and food service, Hotel laws, Principles of management, sales and marketing management, Human resource management.
Personal attributes: They should have a good organizational background, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong commitment and self-discipline. One must be an extrovert, co-operative, polite and respectful to the guests, have patience to deal guest criticism even when you know you are right, willing to work hard even at odd hours and yet be cheerful.
Job Prospects And Career Options
Lots of lucrative and interesting openings are there for hotel management graduates in various fields like:
- Hotel & Restaurant management
- Airline Catering and Cabin Services
- Club management
- Cruise Ship Hotel Management
- Hospital administration and catering
- Hotel and Tourism Associations
- Forest Lodges
- Guest Houses
- Institutional Management (supervising canteens in college, schools, in factories, company guest houses etc.)
- Catering departments of railways, banks, armed forces, shipping companies etc.
- Hotel and catering institutes
- Self employment
A hotel consists main departments such as Operations, Front office, House keeping, Food and Beverages, Accounting, Engineering/ Maintenance, Sales and Security. Each department has a number of positions that one can opt for.
General manager who is the main in charge, is the coordinator and administrator, responsible for staff management, financial control, provision of services, quality control and customer care. Depending on the size of the hotel, general managers could have assistant managers to supplement their work.
It is the centre of all activities. Important functions of receiving the guests, making room reservations, handling correspondence and preparing bills and keeping accounts of the guest services are handled at the front office. The department is headed by Front office manager or Executive House-keeper who supervises and co-ordinates the work. Then there are Assistant Manager, Lobby executive, front office supervisor, information assistant, receptionist, bell captain, bell boy, doorman etc. to perform their assigned roles.
The work of keeping the hotel, the rooms, the bars, the restaurants etc. clean and making it presentable to the guests and ensuring facilities and comfort to them is handled by this department. Those handling this department are Chief executive house keeper, floor supervisor, room attendants, linen supervisors, Maids etc.
Food and Beverages Department
This department is the hub of the hotel industry and is responsible for all the food that is prepared and served in the hotel. The main functions performed by the department are- presentation, preparation and service of food and beverages involving kitchen, bar and baker. Overall in charge of kitchen is known as Chef de Cuisine,the in charge of section is called Chef de Partis and the one who supervises and coordinates the work of Chef de partis is known as Sous-Chef. One who cooks food is known as Cook, the person in overall charge of dining hall is called Maitre de hotel, Captain in charge of part of dining hall is known as Chef de Range, one who serves food is Demi Chef de Range or Steward. Then there is the restaurant hostess who makes the guests comfortable and deal with any complaints by the guests. Those serving drinks are bartenders.
This department deals with both cash and credit transactions, i.e all the financial transactions like purchase of materials, offering of services to the guests etc. This department also compiles information required for budgeting, pricing of food and services and so on. Professionals like cash, cost and works accountants are given higher positions in the department. Chief cashier, cash clerk/bill clerk are the positions handled in this department.
Sales & Marketing
This department keeps in touch with travel agents and tour operators as well as other potential corporate clients in order to sell hotel facilities. Advertising and Public Relations is also normally handled by this department.
Engineering / Maintenance Department
Qualified engineers are appointed for the maintenance of the building and various machines involved in the premises. They are assisted by necessary staff in the electrical and mechanical departments. Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineer, Plumbers, carpenters etc are employed by this department.
Then there is the Security department which provides security to the guest and their belongings and employs security Officers/ guards for this purpose. Retires Army personnel are preferred by this department.
After completing the diploma or the bachelor's course, a graduate is usually taken as a trainee. After successful completion of training, they may be absorbed in positions with salaries range between Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,500.