The UK’s hotel industry appears to have turned a corner, with many parts of the country now reporting growth in profits and an increasing number of guests. As a result, there could be more hotel jobs available in the future.
Research released earlier this month by Savills revealed that there has been a rise in the number of overseas visitors coming to the UK in the first half of 2013, compared to the final six months of last year. This is supported by TripAdvisor’s latest study, which found that Americans and Germans are the most likely to book a holiday in the UK.
In fact, there’s been 23 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of US tourists heading to Britain, while a rise of 21 per cent was recorded among Canadian travellers. Even Brits are booking more holidays at home, with 20 per cent more of us now considering booking a break in the UK than last year.
With this influx of visitors from all over the globe, hotels are experiencing stronger demand for their services – which means they may be looking to take on extra staff.
This isn’t just the case in London, either, with the Savills data showing that regional hotel markets – particularly Manchester and Birmingham – are doing well and continuing to attract travellers.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor highlighted locations such as Cornwall, Devon, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Kent as being particular favourites among both international and domestic tourists. This offers fantastic scope for anyone who wants to build a career in the hospitality sector, as there are few geographical restrictions over where you can work within the UK.
How to get into the hospitality industry
If you want to work in hotels you need to make sure your CV has a good balance of customer-facing roles. There are few jobs in this industry that don’t involve dealing with people, so you need to be able to demonstrate that your communication skills are top notch.
Obviously, previous experience of working in hotels is desirable, but it’s not essential. If you’ve been employed elsewhere in hospitality – such as in a restaurant or bar – you’ll have lots of transferable skills, while even office work can demonstrate that you’re good with people if you’ve been in a customer-facing position.
Try not to be overly fussy about where you get your first job in the hotel sector, as this will give you a world of opportunities and should ensure you gain some valuable experience along the way.
Bear in mind that five-star establishments are unlikely to take on staff without prior experience, so pay your dues at the lower end of the market before seeking out new positions that suit your ambitions.
The TripAdvisor and Savills research both highlighted a growing number of travellers coming from Asia, particularly the Chinese and Singaporean markets, as well as a rise in the number of people visiting from South America, more specifically Argentina.
Learning a second language that will allow you to communicate more effectively with guests from these demographics will certainly put you ahead of the competition. With the government announcing a potential relaxation in visa rules for Chinese tourists, Mandarin and Cantonese would both be useful languages to have, while Spanish will help you interact with travellers from most South American countries.
Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hotel jobs