Written by David Earnhardt, Associate Director of Employer Relations
In our region, Hospitality and Tourism employers represent about 12% of all the jobs here. Employers like restaurants, breweries, The Biltmore Estate, and hotels come immediately to mind; but there are also jobs as white water rafting guides, yoga instructors, hiking facilitators, zip line operators, or ski resort staff. There’s also a variety of retail setups in the Hospitality and Tourism space that make for a well rounded career experience! These retailers support local artists, outdoor gear builders, apparel makers, bee keepers, dog treat bakers, marketers, vinyl record pressors, jewelers, antique hunters, and rare movie collectors.
While there is some stigma around these employers as offering low pay rates, did you know that employees who start in Hospitality industries end up making 25% more over the course of their career than those without that experience? There’s also full career tracks in the industry that have taken entry level employees and made them millionaires!
Thinking about a job that lets you travel? Hospitality and Tourism careers are perfect for that! There are hotels right here in Asheville that have partnerships with properties all over the world, and there’s a regular need for talent in some very exotic locations!
Interested in a job where you can make a difference in someone’s life? Think about the last time you had a great meal, or fell fast asleep in a quiet and clean hotel. How did that make you feel? The Hospitality and Tourism industry helps guests have amazing experiences as a result of their time here. All of these opportunities create lifelong memories, and you can be a part of them!
Want a job that isn’t repetitive? Hospitality and Tourism jobs interact with people from all walks of life and in all stages. You’ll share in couple’s engagements, weddings, first trips with small kids, vacations, retirement parties, professional development, nights out on the town, and weekend getaways. No two work days are the same, and that offers adventure for all in Hospitality and Tourism.
The Hospitality and Tourism industry in Western North Carolina is overwhelmingly locally owned too, so you’d be working to support local farmers, entrepreneurs, builders, bankers, friends and families. The Hospitality and Tourism industry also cares about what you care about…they partner with local animal shelters to help visitors adopt shelter pets, curate farm-to-table dining options to reduce the amount of food that’s transported and wasted, and partner with faith organizations to help provide for those in need.
Want a job that affirms who you are as a person? Hospitality and Tourism employers are among the most open and affirming for LGBTQ+ individuals, people with visible tattoos, all hair colors, and comfort levels with dress codes. They’re also more forgiving for those with histories in the criminal justice system, and empower those with disabilities.
Interested in a job where you can have a lot of fun? Hospitality and Tourism jobs are in concert venues, comedy clubs, sports stadiums, and rock climbing walls. They’re in trampoline parks, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at casinos, and in Pinball Museums. There’s also often perks like free event tickets, hotel stays, meals, and even chances to meet celebrities!
When you think about it, Hospitality and Tourism jobs have a lot to offer, and we hope you can think about them as opportunities to grow, and prosper in your career! Schedule an appointment with the Career Center today to learn how you can make your Hospitality experience work for you as you look toward your future!