A career in hospitality and tourism offers endless opportunities; not only can it take you across the globe, but across a plethora of careers and sectors, too.
Industry sectors include food and beverage, accommodation, travel and tourism, and entertainment and recreation. Within each of these exists thousands of diverse jobs such as caterer, bartender, event planner, cruise ship crew member, museum curator, travel consultant, tour guide, flight attendant and many, many more.
For James, a career in the industry began behind the bar in a local hostel.
“When I graduated from JCU in 2015, my foot in the door was working at Rambutan on Flinders Street. I was working in the bar and wasn’t allowed in the Rooms division, so I had to volunteer my time after my shifts to learn the system,” he says.
“Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work across many different types of accommodation including 5-star, 77-floor high rises, 24-hour airport hotels, family resorts with private beaches, and even a 400-room Bondi Beach hotel complete with a shopping plaza and McDonalds.
“My favourite by far though has been working in quarantine accommodation and hotels converted into pop-up hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dynamic environment, multiple stakeholders, problem solving and leadership I observed during those experiences highlighted everything I love about the industry,” James says.
Despite the unprecedented impact the pandemic continues to have on hospitality and tourism, James highlights the industry’s resilience and ability to adapt.
“The negative impacts of COVID-19 have been well publicised. However, I think there is an argument to be made about the positive impacts to consumer behaviour,” he says.
“For example, figures show that short-haul domestic travel has been increasingly popular, with more and more Australians discovering the hidden gems in their own backyard. On top of that, the pandemic established the desire for ‘touchless travel,’ a concept where travellers appreciate having limited engagement with staff, which is the complete opposite to what I originally learned and practised.”