13Mar
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Exotic locations from all corners of the globe have been capitalizing on the strength of the tourism and travel industry to support five-star hotels and luxurious resorts. The new generation of hospitality management professionals are using advances in digital technology to improve exposure of their facilities to a geographically diverse clientele. Students learning to manage a hotel in accredited hospitality degree programs can apply their skills in jobs in any world region they desire. While many may view this programs as fluff or unnecessary, the skills learned can range from finance to event planning and are useful in many different job markets.

Further, a degree in this industry opens the door to work in almost any part of the entire world.

Malaysia is one country that has seen massive expansion in its global tourism industry, thanks in large part to national programs focused on drawing tourists to its borders. In 1999, the country began a “Malaysia, Truly Asia” advertising campaign to promote its high class hotels and other hospitality businesses; in the first year of the campaign, 7 million tourists came to the country. By 2010, Malaysia played host to 24.6 million global tourists, making it the ninth-most visited country in the world that year.

This level of international tourism can bring billions or even trillions of dollars into a nation’s economy in a single year. The hospitality industry itself comprises hotel management, culinary arts, tourism management and many other careers. An upswing in a country’s tourism industry, much like Malaysia has experienced in the past decade, has the potential to positively affect wide swaths of a country’s working population.

Technological advances have been aiding hotels and other hospitality businesses tremendously, especially as they try to reach far-flung audiences. One area where technology has recently been catching up to the needs of the hospitality industry is in mobile apps and technologies. A piece published by industry resource Hospitality.net noted that mobile bookings for tourism and business travel almost reached $2.6 billion in 2011, about 2.4 percent of the American online booking market. Within two years, the market share for mobile bookings is likely to rise to 6.5 percent.

Integrating the marketing efforts for a hotel or resort with digital technologies allows hospitality managers to not only control what information about the destination is available, but also helps advertising reach the proper demographic. Tech-savvy adults in their late 20s and early 30s are likely to own smartphones and other similar devices to access these apps. This demographic is also very likely to have the money to spend on luxury travel.

The strength of the hospitality industry globally is prompting some educational institutions to improve programs dealing with international business and hotel management. Vancouver’s Imperial Hotel Management College offers an advanced diploma program in international hotel management, for example. Course topics in travel, film, culture, style and leisure are designed to help future hotel executives learn about the different locales they’ll work in. This is helpful when trying to use technology to market a resort to potential clients who may be unfamiliar with the territory and what it has to offer visitors.

The global hospitality industry has been a bright spot during recent years of international economic recession. Students would be smart to capitalize on not only strong economic returns from the industry but the ability to travel widely and get paid to work in upscale luxury resorts.

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