The global hospitality industry is booming with career opportunities in 2023, with the post-pandemic resurgence in travel and dining expected to continue over the next few years. Estimates this year for the global hospitality industry show a high estimated annual growth rate of 10.24% till 2028, with many operators once again running at full capacity.
That’s good news for hospitality job seekers. Fast rebound growth coupled with staff shortages has led to higher wages, more benefits and better conditions for staff, and lots of hospitality career opportunities in 2023, particularly for trained hospitality professionals. Because of these advantages on offer, the hospitality industry is now listed right up there at number five on the Forbes list of Five Top Industries For Job Seekers In 2023.
Hospitality industry career trends and opportunities in 2023
The hospitality industry has risen again from the challenges of the pandemic, but it’s also changed in the process. New challenges and industry trends in 2023 call for new types of skilled professionals trained to meet the demands of the hospitality industry of the future.
Wellness tourism on the rise
The global wellness tourism and hospitality market size is growing strong and is expected to reach USD 1.02 trillion by 2030, according to a report released this year by Grand View Research. Their data shows that the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.93% from 2022 to 2030.
The popularity of wellness tourism is already shaping hospitality businesses, with hotels in particular increasing their investment in wellness offerings in order to attract a share of this predominantly millennial-driven market.
More day spa and exercise facilities, treatments, digital detoxes, in-room fitness equipment, vegan menu items, yoga and meditation classes and on-site wellness consultants are some of the expanded wellness products you can expect to see on offer from hospitality operators over the coming years. There is going to be a surge in demand for specialist staff to manage, operate, oversee and deliver all these wellness hospitality products and services.
If you’re considering a career in hospitality and you also have a particular interest in wellness, now is a great time to train and position yourself as a hospitality and tourism wellness professional. Here are a few future job opportunities to consider in this field that’s set to boom:
- Wellness Travel Specialist
- Wellness Retreat Manager
- Wellness Tourism Marketing
- Wellness Activities Coordinator
- Day Spa Manager
- Day Spa Activities Programming
- Hotel Health and Fitness Facilities Management
- Organic Food and Beverage Management
You don’t need to be a health professional to work in the wellness tourism sector. You could easily step into any of these roles with education and training in Hospitality, Tourism or Hotel Management.
Hospitality staff and manager shortages
Global shortages of qualified managers and skilled professionals that have affected the hospitality industry this year are expected to continue into 2023. Over the next several years, anyone with Hospitality Management or specialist training will be in high demand until training and recruitment programs can fill the gaps.
In Australia, hospitality managers and culinary professionals are in particularly high demand. According to Government data, employment in the hospitality industry is showing high estimates of growth in Australia from 2022 to 2026, with the strongest growth expected for Cafe and Restaurant Managers (27%) and Chefs (14%).
Bakers, butchers and pastry chefs are in such high demand they have been added to the ANZSCO national skills priority list. Similarly, the Australian Hotels Association is reporting skills shortages of all kinds of hotel division managers and skilled hotel professionals across their membership.
Some of the high-demand management and other skilled hospitality careers in demand in 2023 include:
- Cafe, Bar and Restaurant Managers
- Hotel General Managers
- Hotel Rooms Division Managers
- Hotel Operations Managers
- Hotel Restaurant Managers
- Food and Beverage Managers
- Cooks and Chefs
- Bakers and Pastry Chefs
ESG in hospitality is on the rise
The ‘triple bottom line’ approach to business, (i.e., measuring environmental and social impact as well as profit) is steadily on the rise in the hospitality industry in 2023. Environmental and social considerations are now shaping consumer choices, particularly among climate-conscious millennial and Gen Z consumers. This shift in demand is increasingly shaping business practices across the industry, with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework likely to become standard over the next decade.
In response, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality operators are increasingly decarbonising their operations and offering eco-friendly products and services, as well as taking responsibility for gender and ethnically diverse representation within their brand.
Marriott, for example, has made a commitment to reach gender parity in executive roles by 2023, plus 25% of executive roles held by people of colour. Many large hotel chains have stepped up and made ambitious net-zero carbon commitments for the next few decades, while most restaurants and food brands now offer vegan options. Big hotel brands, such as Hilton, also often channel some profit into foundations or charitable sponsorships.
For anyone looking at future careers in hospitality in 2023 and beyond, you can’t ignore the potential for an innovative career making positive changes in the growing ESG space. Some future jobs to consider include:
- Sustainability Consultant for hotels and resorts
- Vegan, Organic and Sustainable Food and Beverage Management
- Vegan, Organic and Sustainable Culinary Expert, Cook or Chef
- Eco Lodge Manager
- Sustainable Hotel or Resort Management
- Vegan Food Product Developer
- Vegan, Organic Restaurant or Cafe Management
- Sustainable Hospitality Supply Chain Manager
- Cultural Awareness Trainer or Consultant
- Hospitality Anti-Bias Trainer or Consultant
- Hotel Brand Charity and Sponsorship Program Manager
Hospitality digital jobs growing in demand
The hospitality industry in 2023 continues to become even further digitally integrated, with mobile bookings for dining and accommodation on the rise and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), such as Booking.com, continuing to play a crucial role for operators.
The past few years of the pandemic have seen a further explosion in social media usage, hotel and restaurant branded apps and food delivery platforms; a trend expected to continue in 2023 and beyond. Let’s also not forget the now ubiquitous Instagram influencer, posting pictures of every cafe and hotel they visit in a digital Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) economy that’s also growing strong. These examples all show how the fast-evolving digital world has become an essential foundation for hospitality and tourism businesses to operate in 2023, and into the future.
Despite the reliance of hotels and restaurants on everything from booking apps to review sites for their businesses, there is a massive and growing digital skills gap right now in the industry. Research suggests that around one in three hospitality workers have no digital literacy at all.
Many hospitality brands and operators are having difficulty finding trained digital professionals to perform essential tasks, such as managing their online presence and integrating new digital booking, communication or data management systems into their operations.
If you decide to pursue a digital hospitality career, you will be in high demand in 2023 and in the future. You don’t even need to study computing; there is a range of digital careers in the industry that draws from the customer service and management skills you gain with a hospitality management background.
Some high-demand digital careers for 2023 in the hospitality industry include:
- Social Media Manager for hospitality businesses
- Digital Content Creator for hospitality brands
- Digital Services Specialist
- International Hotel and Resort Digital Content Marketing
- Social Media Food Photography
- Digital Booking Specialist for the OTA sector
- Digital Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
- SEO Manager in Hospitality or Food and Beverage
Whether your passion is content creation, wellness, sustainability or food, there’s a future career in hospitality just waiting for you to get started.