There are 12,000 hotels across the UK, striving to provide a quality experience for the millions of guests that travel to, and within, the country each year. If you're good with people, want to work as a chef or are happy not to work traditional hours, you could enjoy a long career in the hotel industry.
Working in a hotel, you will get to meet visitors from all over the world. Many people will be visiting the UK for the first time and you can help to make their experience unforgettable -; you could be preparing their meals, providing porter services or checking them into their room. Given the 24/7 nature of the work, problems can arise, so if you enjoy problem-solving, you will relish the challenge!
Most hotels also host events, such as wedding, parties, conferences and meetings, so if you're a keen organiser and enjoy dealing with customers or clients, you could find your ideal position here.
The UK hotel industry employs 248,700 people and is comprised of large branded operators (the largest ones being budget hotels Premier Inn and Travelodge), smaller branded hotels, independent hotels and a large number of independent bed and breakfast (B&B) or guest house accommodation.
The British Hospitality Association defines a budget hotel as a strongly-branded offer with generally compact rooms, a small food and beverage operation and limited facilities and services. With the exception of budget hotels, hotels and guest houses are usually categorised by their star rating (one to five star). The majority of hotels are three star and the majority of guest houses are four star. The vast majority of hotels also have a restaurant.
As an accommodation provider, hotels have a potential overlap with other industries, such as youth hostels, farms, pubs, restaurants and others that may also provide accommodation. They often fall under B&B accommodation.
Career opportunities and skills needed
There are a wide variety of jobs in the hotel industry ranging from hotel porter and kitchen assistant through to supervisory and managerial positions.
For a lot of the 'entry-level' positions, many employers say that willingness to work hard and a good attitude are the most important things they look for. For public-facing roles, such as bar, waiting, or reception staff, good people skills and an appreciation of the importance of customer service are essential.
Committed workers who are willing to take on new responsibilities are most likely to progress.
Many hotels find it difficult to hang on to their staff, as some employees tend to work part-time while studying etc. and sometimes do not stay in their job for long. Individuals who show enthusiasm and commitment to their job are often rewarded by employers with rapid progression up the ladder.
Individuals wishing to move into more senior positions are likely to require previous managerial experience and be able to display a solid understanding of the industry.
Click here to download an industry profile factsheet.