Hospitality is the backbone of the world, from car rentals, to hotel stays, bus tours, baseball games, spa days and celebratory dinners… taking care of people is at the center. Even the word “restaurant” comes from a French verb that means “to restore.” The Hospitality industry restores your mind, body, and soul.
In a recent article from Tom Sietsema, the food critic for The Washington Post, “Restaurants are big businesses. Before the pandemic cost so many of them their jobs, more than 15 million people were employed in the food service industry, about 10 percent of the private sector.”
We just celebrated National Tourism Day on May 7, another arm of the Hospitality industry. According to a 2019 Forbes travel report, “The travel and tourism sector grew more in 2018 than all other economic sectors but one, adding a record $8.8 trillion to the world’s combined Gross Domestic Product – up from $8.3 trillion in 2017 – as well as 319 million new jobs.”
The skills learned in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) programs like the one offered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) are transferable. UMES at USG partners with businesses across the county and state to provide a college to career pipeline. Even though the industry is on pause, there are still business recruiting graduates, from financial institutions to insurance companies, there are still plenty of opportunities available to those in the Hospitality sector.
At the heart of the Hospitality industry is resilience, from the great recession to 9-11 the industry has always bounced back and certainly will again. Why? Because taking care of people is at the heart of the industry. And I know that after this crisis passes, we will all need to restore our mind, bodies and soul.