There has never been a better time to launch a career in accommodation hotels with an increase in tourist numbers and massive investment in hotel development creating a growing skills shortage, according to Tourism Accommodation Australia.

The latest National Visitor Survey released yesterday and the International Visitor Survey released earlier this month revealed more Australian tourists are choosing to holiday at home with domestic overnight travel up 5 per cent on 2016, and international tourist numbers up 9 per cent over the same period.

To cope, the Australian hotel industry has invested more than $8 billion, with 228 hotel projects which equates to 34,702 rooms either under construction, approved for development or in advanced planning stages across Australia.

But Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO, Carol Giuseppi, said the favourable economic conditions have opened up an ever-widening skills gap, and by 2020 the hotel sector nationally will need another 123,000 skilled and unskilled workers.

She said the upcoming industry-led Hotel Career Expo was a way to combat the expected skills shortage.

“Many students and young professionals don’t see the hotel industry as a rewarding, long-term, professional career,” Giuseppi said.

“To address this misperception the Hotel Career Expo has seen hotel representatives from some of NSW’s leading establishments come together to lift the profile of the industry as a whole and attract long-term recruits who see the industry as an aspirational career.

“In 2017/18 we are building on the solid foundations set during the 2016 campaign, to continue to change perceptions of the hotel industry and engage the professional superstars who will contribute to the continued growth of the industry,” she said.

The Hotel Live Experience, from 25-29 September, is the first program of the Hotel Career Expo 2018 and includes over 80 immersive experiences for over 500 ambitious people, across hotel management, sales and marketing, engineering, finance, IT, human resources, culinary and food and beverage.

In May 2018, the second Hotel Career Expo will be held at the Sydney Sofitel Wentworth and is an exclusive opportunity for young people to connect with key figures from the participating hotel brands and kick start their professional career in the accommodation industry.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management