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Essay 1 title:

With the reference to the relevant literature, discuss the notion that a career in the
national hospitality and tourism industry is not a good idea.

Introduction to hospitality and tourism industry

The importance of hospitality and tourism industry employment in the world is

attested to by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 2009), which their research
shows that travel and tourism relates activities account for about 7.6 percent of jobs, or
on other words over 220 million jobs worldwide, and the percentage of job opportunity is
expected to increase till 8.4 percent in year 2019.

According to Mullins (2001), hotel operations combine both a productive and a

service element. Nevertheless, although hotels are not pure service organizations, they
exhibit many of the basic characteristics common to other service industries such as the
consumer as a participant in the process, site location determined by customer
demands, difficulty in measuring performance, and more.

In recent years the term ’hospitality’ has become increasingly popular as an all-
embracing nomenclature for a larger grouping of organizations including hotels. As a
collective term, the hospitality industry may be interpreted in a number of ways
(Mullins.2001). For example according to an HCTC report it includes’ hotels, restaurants,
pubs, clubs, cafes, guest houses, contract catering, public sector, industrial, hospital,
education and leisure catering.

Operations in hospitality industry, ranging from the simplest to the most

sumptuous can be found in just about every community in this country and the world.
Wherever you can get accomodation, food, or beverages all can be considered as a part
of the hospitality industry. As there are so many types of businesses can be group
under hospitality industry as the statement above, namely there will be a lot of job
opportunity in this large industry.

Argument that is a poor career choice to be in hospitality and tourism industry

Statement above could not convince most of the people that hospitality and
tourism industry is a good career choice. For examples, Douglas Coupland, the notable
cultural commentator, has for many captured the zeitgeist when he talks pejoratively of
‘McJob’(Jobs offered by fast food sector leader McDonalds Company) which he
describes as ‘A low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the
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service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have
never held one’ (Riley,1995)

According to Keep and Mayhew (1999), the hospitality sector is characterized by

the presence of low wages, unsociable and long hours and family unfriendly shift
patterns, rare incidences of equal opportunities and male domination of higher and
better paid work. Moreover, there are a poor or non-existent career structures, informal
recruitment practices, a lack of formalized “good practice” models of human resource
management and development, high levels of labor turnover, low presence of trade
unions and difficulties in recruitment and retention (Nankervis & Debrah, 1995).

According to Riley (1996), as pay is deemed to be the market mechanism,

however hotel and catering industry pay system are determines by a set of skills, in
other words ’how the pay structure and skill structure integrate’ due to the fact that there
are fairly large proportion of unskilled occupations in this industry, therefore large
percentage of staff may only get a certain amount, or we should say low levels of pay
due to low or no skill needed for their job. However, the industry expects trainees to put
effort into their jobs for nominal pay – and it is how the industry has always worked. New
people coming into the industry are often not prepared to work the longer hours. This
causes many new people to leave the industry just as they are starting to mature and
add real value.

The poor treatment to the staff in hospitality industry can be clearly sees in
Loannides and Hickmore’s press release, ‘Salaries, with the exception of the front office,
have not grown with inflation and this drives competent staff from the industry. The
industry must reward those who put in the effort.’

Reflecting Lucas (1995) and Kitching discussions of hospitality employees, for

these employees it was the social side of work that kept them employed at specific
establishments. As Tom, highlighted his “social life” was “attached to work”, living on the
premises enhanced this with regular “beers”, “takeaways” and “computer games” after
work. The social element between staff was not the only attraction as often workplace
romances were established (across the four firms three such relationships existed and
the social interaction of work itself was important. (Martin, 2004).

This social orientation to work often extended to a particular group of part time
employees, as Lindsay mentioned “getting on really well” with the group was important,
work was “good fun”, even on their day off staff met and went out together. Indeed, the

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owner of one establishment commented that nearly all of the waitresses knew one
another outside of work as they attended the same college, and a Friday or Saturday
night was like a “mothers meeting” or “gossiptastic”, as he commented, “I know all about
fashion and haircuts and what they did on Friday night. I'm like shut up, you see one
another every day”. (Martin,2004). From the statement above we can know that due to
the shift system in hospitality industry, most of the staff can only hang out with colleague
or friends that they met in the same company or same industry. It is hard for them to
extend their social network.

According to Riley (1996), there are 3 basic dangers especially when labor
turnover is high and need staff to work overtime. First, it can run out of control, second, it
can undermine recruitment and third, it can undermine supervision and therefore the
quality of the service.

Part of the unskilled workforce will not attach to this industry’s labor market
permanently as they will only treat it as a job but not their career. People who categorize
under this statement are normally part-timer, housewife, graduates who waiting for
further study etc.

The hospitality industry as a whole lacks consistency and portability in training

models and skill certifications. Many employers provide internal training programs for
entry-level workers, which makes it difficult to monitor the content of training and the
skills acquired. (United States Department of Labour,2009). For those trainers who keep
giving training to different new staff, they will feel monotony because it is only repeating
some skills and basic knowledge which they are so familiar due to their working

Crompton and Sanderson have discussed how a significant proportion of the jobs
where women predominate in the industry reflect their labor market position as
disadvantaged workers. Women work in such jobs as a result of employers’ pursuit of
economic advantage rather than gendered preferences; mostly industry prefer to
hire lower cost workers, and women - particularly, married women seeking part-time
work - have historically been available for employment for lower average rates of pay
than men; partly reflecting their status as “component” rather than “breadwinner” wage
earners. From appendix 1, we can see that in spring 1995, the last date to which this
figure refers, women were 43.7 per cent of employees, but 52.7 per cent of those on
fixed contract and 68.1 per cent of those on other temporary work.

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According to the research that done by United Nation Economic Commission for
Europe , more than half of the women in employment, but only 11% of the men, work
part time. Part-time work is thus a typical feature of female employment. On the one
hand, part-time employment frequently means insecure working conditions, poorer social
security arrangements (e.g. with pension funds) as well as fewer further training and
career opportunities. On the other hand, it offers both women and men an opportunity to
take on other work, comparing their gainful employment, such as looking after children,
honorary activities, providing assistance and doing housework. If there are no children
under 15 in the household, women are more frequently in full-time employment.
However, if there are children in the household, women mainly work part-time or are not
economically active. In the case of men, the existence of children in the household has
little effect on the occupation rate.

Every member of a hotel staff, from housekeeping to the hotel manager, is

responsible for the seamless operation of the establishment. At smaller hotels and
motels, the responsibility for overseeing rooms, food and beverage service, registration
and overall management can fall on the shoulders of a single manager. Form the
statement above we can know that how heavy is the burden for a single manager to in
charge of so many department yet there are more problems that need to be solve by he
or she.

It isn't easy working in the hospitality industry -- guests can be rude, the holiday
rush is nightmarish and employees work seven days a week. Hotel workers must put the
needs of their guests first and maintain a sunny and accommodating disposition at all
times -- not easy when you have been working for 12 hours on Christmas Day without a
break. However, the perks in the business are such that hospitality workers put up with
the disadvantages of the industry.

I am totally agreed with the statement that Hospitality and Tourism industry is a
poor career choice as according to the details or information that I have found. Despite
of low level of salary, low status, but also long and unstable working time as

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management may ask for extra working hour if lack of staff which cause by high staff
turnover and lot more reason. All of these reasons will cause to problems such as exploit
the family time, no personal social life, and also ability to provide better standard of living
for family by the staff.
(1,623 words)

Appendix 1

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Figure 1Temporary employees as a percentage of all employeesWebsite:

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Nankervis & Debrah (1995) A. Nankervis and Y. Debrah, Human resource management
in hotels: A comparative study, Tourism Management 16 (1995), pp. 507–514 A.
Nankervis and Y. Debrah, Human resource management in hotels: A comparative study,
Tourism Management 16 (1995), pp. 507–514.

Dennis Nickson. (2007). Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism
Industries. (1st ed.). Oxford: Butterworth- Heinemann

Emma Martin. (2004). Who's kicking whom? Employees' orientations to work.

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 16; 3, pp 182- 188
Ewart Keep and Ken Mayhew, Skills task force research group. Paper 6. The leisure
sector, DFEE, London (1999).

Kate Purcell. (1996). The Relationship between career and job opportunities: women’s
employment in the hospitality industry as a microcosm of women’s employment. Women
in Management Review. 11;5, pp 17-24.
Laurie J.Mullins. (2001). Hospitality Management and Organisational Behaviour. (4th
ed.). Petaling Jaya: Pearson-Longman.

Lucas Ioannides, Stephen Hickmore. How to recruit and retain good staff. [Online].
Retrieved on 16th October 2009 at 8.41pm

Lucas, R. (1995), Managing Employee Relations in the Hotel and Catering Industry,
Cassell, London.
Micheal Riley. (1996). Human Resource Management in the Hospitality and Tourism
Industry. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Butterworth- Heinemann

United Nation Economic Comission for Europe: On the way to Gender Equality. (2004).
[Online]. Retrieved on 20th October 2009 at 1.51pm from:

United States Department of Labor: High Growth Industry Profile-Hospitality. (2009).

[Online]. Retrieved on 20th October 2009 at 12.22pm from:

World Travel and Tourism Council : Tourism data and impact forecasts. [Online].
Retrieved on 16th October 2009 at 8.22pm from:

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