Careers in Accommodation

NB: Listed below are an array of jobs available in the selected sector. We continue to add details to each job listed, including duties, required experience, suggested education, possible career paths and average annual salary.

Hotel General Manager

OVERVIEW
The General Manager is the most senior executive of a hotel or motel, although he or she might report to the owner or executives of the parent hotel chain. They set room rates, develop the budget for each department, approve expenses and establish the standards for service to guests. The General Manager also has responsibility for front of the house operations as well, setting standards and overseeing restaurant and banquet operations, guest services, housekeeping, and decor.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Useful skills are leadership, entrepreneurship skills and communication skills. In addition, planning and budgeting experience, business management skills and time management skills are all assets to this position.

DUTIES
Hotel General Managers plan and direct the operations of hotels, motels, resorts, and similar organizations or departments within these facilities. They prepare budgets, monitor expenses, and schedule/supervise staff.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
You usually need a college diploma or university degree in hotel management or a related field if you work for a hotel chain or other large organization. You need several years’ experience, and this experience may replace formal education.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Nightclub Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Owner/Operator.

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Sales Manager

OVERVIEW
Sales managers (also called sales representatives) are responsible for selling products and/or services as identified in the sales and marketing plan of an organization. Sales managers are self-motivated, able to set and achieve goals and use time and efforts effectively and efficiently. They have effective selling skills and strong product/service knowledge, and are able to adapt what they sell to meet specific client needs.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
A sales manager requires good communication skills, a confident, optimistic personality and must enjoy working with people. An ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and personality traits that include self-discipline and self-motivation are necessary, as is a professional attitude and demeanor. Previous sales experience and customer service experience may be requested, as may be sales and marketing experience, business and financial experience, and time management skills. Thorough knowledge of the product and services being sold and understanding of the region and sector/industry is typically require.

DUTIES
Promote products or services, identify and solicit new clients or target groups, prepare sales reports and track activities, estimate or quote prices, credit terms, warranties and delivery dates, prepare sales contracts, process orders and make delivery arrangements, may help set direction or guidelines and assign or review work of others, may help organize and conduct sales campaigns and participate in trade shows or other promotions.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is required. A college diploma or university degree in business, tourism or marketing may also be required.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Retail Salesperson, Sales Supervisor, Director of Sales and Marketing, Executive Assistant Manager, General Manager.

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Housekeeping Room Attendant

OVERVIEW
Housekeeping room attendants provide for the comfort of guests in hotels, motels, resorts, etc. by ensuring that guest rooms and public areas are clean and properly presented. A housekeeping room attendant promotes a positive image of the property to guests, and must be pleasant, friendly and able to address problems or special requests.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Physical mobility and stamina are required, as is an ability to attend to detail and to follow instructions. A professional attitude is required, as well as the ability to work independently, quickly and carefully. Customer service experience may be requested, good communication skills are desirable, and, although cleaning skills and product knowledge can be taught, ability is preferred. Good organizational and teamwork skills are an asset, as is knowledge of the facility and services.

DUTIES
Stock and sort supplies in linen closet and on housekeeper's cart, vacuum, clean, dust and polish guest rooms, make beds, change sheets, remove and replace used towels and toiletries, deliver and retrieve items on loan to guests, e.g. iron and ironing board, ensure security of guest rooms and privacy of guests, perform rotation cleaning duties (e.g. steam clean carpets) as required.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is preferred.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Assistant or Executive Housekeeper, Laundry Supervisor, Aircraft Groomer.

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Guest Services Attendant

OVERVIEW
Guest services attendants provide service to guests at the main door or lobby of an accommodation property. They help with luggage, offer information, and generally endeavor to make each and every person's stay a pleasant one. Work can be very fast-paced, especially during the high season, but extra effort may be rewarded with gratuities. Guest services attendants are often the eyes and ears of a property as they are constantly moving around it and often notice issues that need attending to.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
A professional attitude is required, as is an ability to work as a member of a team. Good communication skills, customer service skills and an enjoyment of working with people are also necessary. Physical ability to lift and carry heavy suitcases and other items is necessary. Also requested might be good time management skills and knowledge of facility, services and locale.

DUTIES
Provide guests with verbal or written information about the facilities, services, room choices and rates, and area attractions, make room reservations following established procedures, using computerized or manual systems handle guest arrivals and departures, handle guest keys, mail and faxes, compile record sheets or log books, guest accounts and vouchers, prepare bills and process payments.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is preferred. Post-secondary training in tourism is advantageous.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Concierge, Guest Services Manager, Assistant Front Desk Manager, Front Desk Manager.

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Front Desk Agent

OVERVIEW
Front desk agents provide many guest services. Often a guest's first impression of a property is the result of the front desk agent's skills and abilities. Front desk agents work in the lobby or reception areas of hotels, motels, resorts and other accommodation facilities. The position is challenging and varied, and offers the opportunity to work flexible hours and meet many new people (as well as welcome regular customers to the establishment).

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Good communication skills, professional attitude and organizational skills are necessary, as is an enjoyment of working with people. Experience in customer service, sales or tourism is suggested, and an ability to use a computer and handle cash is typically required. Also requested might be administrative skills or experience, and skills in sales and marketing, and/or time management. A second language is beneficial, as is knowledge of the facility, services and local area.

DUTIES
Assist guests with arrivals and departures, handle guest's concerns, offer referrals for services, and handle requests for information. Handle and store luggage, assist with the check-in and check-out of groups and tours, provide valet parking, assist other departments as required.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is required. Post-secondary training in tourism or hotel management is advantageous and sometimes necessary.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Front Concierge, Assistant Front Office Manager, Front Office Manager, Customer Service Agent, Purser.

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Executive Housekeeper

OVERVIEW
Executive housekeepers direct and control housekeeping operations and staff of the housekeeping department. An executive housekeeper manages many priorities and demands and is able to solve problems and support staff, as well as perform the duties of a housekeeper when required.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
A professional attitude and experience working in housekeeping is required, as is experience as a supervisor or manager. An executive housekeeper must also have management and business skills, human resource management skills, and financial management skills. Customer service experience, purchasing and inventory skills may be requested, as might knowledge of specific products, equipment and techniques.

DUTIES
Establish and/or implement operating procedures and standards plan and co-ordinate the activities of housekeeping supervisors and their crews, co-ordinate inspection or inspect assigned areas to ensure standards are met, apply human resource management skills such as hiring, training and evaluating performance, complete financial management tasks such as setting and adhering to a budget, handle administrative tasks.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is preferred. A college diploma in tourism or business management is an asset.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Front Office/Rooms Division Manager, Housekeeping Director, Rooms Division Executive.

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Small Hotel or Guest House Owner/Operator

OVERVIEW
An owner/operator of a small hotel or guest house business plans, directs and manages all the daily and long-term operations. This position offers the opportunity to work flexible hours and meet new people. Business tasks can often be combined with household tasks (e.g. breakfast for guests can be purchased at the same time as groceries for the household). Ensuring the enjoyment and comfort of guests is the owner/operator's number one priority, and he has the ability to do this creatively in ways that appeal to him.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Experience in tourism is required of a successful small hotel or guest house owner/operator. Organizational skills, marketing, sales and customer service skills, and good communication skills are also necessary. In order to manage the tasks required, administrative skills, accounting and cash control skills and knowledge of business, the sector, industry and locale are mandatory. One must enjoy people and have a tolerance for strangers staying in their home as well. Desired skills for this position include management, leadership, risk management and human resource management skills. Financial management skills and office or business experience are also assets, as would be an ability to speak a second language.

DUTIES
Meet guests' needs related to overnight stays and meals, respond to enquiries and solve problems, offer tourism information and promote local area, use business management skills, use sales and marketing skills, complete financial management tasks, use administrative skills, maintain facility, equipment and supplies.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A college diploma or degree in business, tourism, marketing or hotel management is useful. Training in first aid, food safety and small business management are all assets.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Expand business, purchase larger operation, Manager/Executive in other tourism businesses.

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Chief Concierge

OVERVIEW
A chief concierge supervises both guest services attendants and concierges. A concierge serves the needs of guests in hotels, resorts and other accommodation facilities by providing information and special services to enhance guests visits. The position is varied: a concierge may be asked to book elusive theatre tickets, give directions to a local festival or recommend a doctor.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Good communication skills and customer service skills are required. Also necessary is a strong knowledge of the community, area and region, as is guest services or concierge experience. Also requested might be skills or experience in problem solving, organization and time management, and supervision. A second language may also be a requirement.

DUTIES
Supervise and direct guest services attendants and concierges, communicate directly with guests, in person or by telephone, provide information on facilities and services, events and attractions, tours, travel routes and transportation schedules, provide area maps, brochures and other literature, arrange tickets, bookings, appointments and reservations for guests.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is required. Post-secondary training in tourism or hospitality management is an asset.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Assistant Front Office Manager, Ships Purser, Front Office Manager, Sales Manager, General Manager.

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