Hospitality and tourism

The hospitality sector covers a broad range of industries from catering in hotels, restaurants and bars to management of the former and the leisure and tourism industry is huge both on a national and international scale making them a popular choice for those wanting to get into this type of work. The following page is designed to give you an insight to the different roles available in these sectors.

Hotel and accommodation management

There are various management training schemes with big international hotel groups, some of which are for graduate entry only. They include: Intercontinental Hotels Group plc, Jurys Inn, Macdonald Hotels, Hilton and Marriott. Some budget hotels like Travel Lodge also have graduate schemes.

Alternative options include working in resorts and for cruise lines such as Carnival. There are also opportunities in the public sector eg university accommodation and hospitals.

Employers often ask for relevant work experience. This might be hotel based or in another customer facing role such as a restaurant or bar. Languages will be an asset in this sector.

Catering, restaurants and pubs/bars

Graduate opportunities are available in managed pubs, restaurants and bars. Many graduates work their way up to management positions whereas others may choose to set up their own cafe, bar or restaurant.

Large pub companies offer routes into retail and corporate management however not all are labelled as graduate schemes. Some smaller independent companies offer entry level management positions where work experience will count for more than your degree. Working for a brewery is slightly different they may not have any pubs, opportunities may exist in brewing, distribution, sales and marketing. There are now thousands of microbreweries, to find out about opportunities, check websites, follow them on social media and consider speculative approaches.

Many restaurant chains do offer graduate schemes leading to management positions. Some graduates work their way up from junior positions to managerial level.

As well as managerial roles in the catering industry, there are more hands on roles such as chef or caterer. There are no specific graduate schemes for becoming a chef or a caterer however you must show passion for working in the industry.


Jobs in the tourism industry are varied, but almost all demand dedication, long hours and a flexible approach. You could choose a customer facing role such as tour manager or tourist information officer and have the opportunity to use your language skills or travel abroad. Alternatively you could choose more of an office based role such as theme park manager or travel agency manager.

For the majority of these roles, a degree is not a required however you could improve your chances of getting employed in this sector by choosing management modules as part of your degree or doing a degree in any of the following:

  • social/economic/business studies
  • travel/tourism/leisure studies
  • business/marketing/financial management
  • languages