“The art of using one’s leisure intelligently is a supreme sign of civilization.” – Bertrand Russell
Have you ever driven around Danbury and noticed a hotel around every corner? Have you also wondered who is coming here and why? Travel is a huge part of many people’s lives for many different reasons. People travel for work or for vacation. I’m sure you can remember a time you traveled for a high school field trip or sporting event. This high demand for travel has led to an even greater demand for accommodations, and thus a substantial demand for people to run and manage these accommodations. And that’s where you come in.
If you so choose to study hospitality and pursue a career, you would be entering an industry that plays a massive role in the economy. This is no surprise, as SelectUSA tell us that the U.S. “leads the world in international travel and tourism exports.” The following are statistics gathered from 2015 to show how this industry has grown to be an economic giant:
- Generated about $1.6 trillion in output
- Supported 7.6 million jobs
- Accounted for 11% of all U.S. exports & nearly 33% of all U.S. services exports
- Represented 2.6% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
- International visitors spent $246.2 billion
So what do these statistics mean to you as a student? They can be translated into two things: job security and growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate for leisure and hospitality is at a low of 7%. Even during the recession of 2008-2009, it never rose above 10% (BLS). The need, and more importantly the desire, to travel will most likely always exist. Therefore, the need for jobs in hospitality will also most likely always exist. To put it into perspective, a typical hotel with 100 occupied rooms supports about 254 jobs (Oxford Economics). Now think back to how many hotels there are in Danbury alone. That’s hundreds of different positions at your fingertips. As for growth, the U.S. Department of Commerce projects that “international travel to the United States should grow by 3% annually through 2021” (SelectUSA). Additionally, consumer spending on lodging has increased 230% since 1980 and hotel industry GDP has increased from less than $50 billion in 1980 to more than $140 billion in 2015 (Oxford Economics).
As you can see, the hospitality industry is growing at an astronomical speed and is not slowing down anytime soon. The entrance into this next chapter of your life is going to feel very similar. The college environment is constantly moving, fast-paced, and exciting, but it can be gone before you know it. Spend these next four years studying a field that will ensure you not just a job, but a career.
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“About the Leisure and Hospitality Supersector.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“Economic Impact of the US Hotel Industry.” Oxford Economics. American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation, 30 June 2016. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
“Gross Domestic Product – GDP.” Investopedia. N.p., 10 Sept. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Spotlight.” SelectUSA. Iternational Trade Administration, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.