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Working as a Hospitality Manager

Job Description

Hospitality managers (also known as Accommodation service managers) plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations of an accommodation establishment or of a department within such an organization. You will perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate policies and procedures for the operation of the department or establishment
  • Prepare budgets, monitor revenues and expenses and the hotel’s overall financial performance
  • Participate in the development of pricing and promotional strategies
  • Negotiate with suppliers for the provision of materials and supplies
  • Coordinate with clients for the use of facilities for conventions, banquets, receptions and other functions
  • Recruit and supervise staff, oversee training and set work schedules
  • Interact with guests and resolve customer complaints

Examples of accommodation are hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, hostels, industry work camps and recreational “lodgings” such as campgrounds and RV sites.

More information:

Industry Overview

British Columbia’s tourism sector is important to the economy by providing nearly 168,000 jobs in 2020. The Accommodation Services industry employed nearly 32,000 workers in the province in 2019. The majority of the jobs in hospitality management are located in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. However, both Vancouver Island and the Thompson/Okanagan regions provide significant employment in this industry. BC’s interior is home to a growing number of world-class ski resorts and wineries which is attracting increasing numbers of tourists.

Sources: WorkBC, Accommodation and Food Services Industry Profile,
WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2019 Edition – Industry Profile Accommodation Services

Employment Outlook in BC

Hospitality Managers (Accommodation Service Managers)

forecasted average employment growth rate; job openings; composition of job openings for 2019-2029

JobBank Canada reports that job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period; the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period.

Source: JobBank Canada: Job Prospects

The Regional Employment Projections for British Columbia (Ten-Year Employment Outlook 2019-2029) provides job openings projections for accommodation service managers within BC regions:

Region 2019   Estimated Employment Average Annual %  Change,      2019 to 2029 2019-2029
Estimated # of
Openings
Vancouver Island 1000 1.3% 530
Lower Mainland / Southwest 2300 1.4% 940
Thompson-Okanagan 1030 1.3% 510
Kootenay 310 1.8% 180
Cariboo 220 1.4% 100
North Coast & Nechako 190 0.1% 50
Northeast 140 1.2% 60

Source:  WorkBC Career Profile for Accommodation Service Managers

You can learn more about working as a Hospitality Manager in BC from:

Types of Employers

Hospitality/accommodation service managers are employed by hotels, motels, resorts, student residences, and other accommodation establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Typically hotels, resorts, and other types of accommodation are located in larger towns and cities, but they are also found at or near popular tourist sites that may be outside urban areas.  Fishing or hunting lodges, guest ranches and similar types of accommodation may be found in rural or wilderness areas. The facilities may range in size from small boutique hotels with exclusive clientele to very large destination resorts.  The hotels are a mix of independent owners and multi-national chains.

Salary

In BC, the annual provincial median salary for Hospitality / Accommodation Managers is $60,170. Income for hotel managers varies greatly depending on the size and location of the hotel. Larger establishments in big cities may pay considerably more. In BC, provincial hourly rate can range from a low of $15.38/hr. to median of $28.85/hr. and up to high of $60.17/hr.

Hospitality Managers are paid a yearly salary, and some may receive a performance-based bonuses or profit sharing. This means that the more money the hotel makes, the larger the manager’s bonus.  This can add up to around 25% of their salaries.

In addition to their salaries, hotel managers usually receive benefits, including health coverage, paid sick leave, and paid vacation time. Some managers also receive perks, such as free meals, accommodation, and laundry service.

Source: Career Cruising – (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).

Job Bank Canada website provides hourly wages for accommodation service  (hospitality) managers in BC regions:

low, median and high hourly wages in BC regions

Working Hours

In general, hotel managers work 10 to 12 hours a day. Evening and weekend work is common, although this can vary depending on the location and size of the hotel and the time of year.

In addition, hotel managers may be on call 24 hours a day. Even if they work from 8:00am to 6:00pm, they may have to stay another 4 hours to make sure that an event is successful. If there is an emergency during the night, managers may have to come in to handle the crisis.

Source: Career Cruising (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • good with people; work well with others
  • strong oral and written communication skills
  • decision making and problem solving skills
  • job task planning and organizing
  • leadership
  • business management
  • entrepreneurial skills

Education and Experience

A university degree or college diploma in hotel management or other related discipline is usually required for managers employed by hotel chains or large accommodation establishments.

Several years of experience within the accommodation industry are usually required and may substitute for formal educational requirements.

An alternative educational path is to take business or financial studies at college or university. Hotel chains often look for managers who are professionally qualified in accounting, budgeting, planning, cost-control, or finance.

It may be possible in certain situations (usually smaller, independent hotels and motels) to become a manager without formal post-secondary education. This is usually done by starting out in an entry-level position, such as front desk clerk, and then working your way up. However, this is increasingly rare.

Source: Career Cruising (Profiles for “Hotel Manager”).

Qualifications

This occupation does not require certification in British Columbia.

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun and The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job Freeway

  • Available online through the Vancouver Public Library
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • Go2HR
    The central area to search for tourism jobs available throughout BC.
  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards.

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For hospitality managers, look for these related job titles:

  • assistant manager, hotel
  • bed and breakfast operator
  • front desk manager
  • guest-house operator
  • hotel director
  • reservations manager
  • seasonal resort manager
  • ski resort manager
  • tourist home operator

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of hotels in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring. You can photocopy from the print directories at Central Library, or use the online directories from a computer connected to the Internet.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “hotels” and click SEARCH.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Hospitality and tourism associations in BC and Canada provide assistance and information on training and certification.

  • Tourism HR Canada
    promotes professionalism throughout the sector;  addresses key labour market issues.
  • Go2HR
    Go2HR is BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource and health & safety association.
  • Destination BC
    a provincial Crown corporation, leads the marketing of British Columbia as a tourist destination and promotes the development and growth of the provincial tourism industry.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library: