Hospitality and Hotel Management

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“A satisfied customer; we should have him stuffed,” joked the most-famous hotel manager of all time, Basil Fawlty. The humour of this statement is born from its truth. Running a hotel can involve crises and calm, disgruntled customers and satisfied clients.

It is a role that requires a great deal of hard work, late nights, and early mornings. A slapdash approach sugar-coated in Irish charm may have worked in the past. This kind of complacence has had its day, and customers now expect more, and rightly so.


Work experience plays a big role in Hotel Management courses. This is because you need to learn the practical skills. Students generally gain experience and training through obligatory placements (which are often abroad). These last for a minimum of six months.

Hotel Management degrees are available from IT Tralee, Galway-Mayo IT, Athlone IT, and Shannon College of Hotel Management.

Courses include a combination of vocational and theoretical training. Academic subjects include:

  • Strategic Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • IT
  • Hospitality Law

Students  also learn technical, supervisory, and problem-solving skills. In addition, students gain a thorough grounding in practical tasks. These include front office and reception techniques, accommodation management, and food and beverage services.

Hospitality honours degrees, ordinary degrees, and higher certificates are available from a number of institutions. These include Galway-Mayo, Tralee, Limerick, Dundalk, Cork, Dublin, Tallaght, Letterkenny, and Waterford Institutes of Technology, as well as Griffith College Dublin.

These courses aim to produce well-rounded graduates with the full skillset for a hospitality management career. Students are introduced to the core skills required for management in all areas of the vast hospitality sector:

  • HR Management
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Food & Beverage Operations
  • Accommodation Management
  • Tourism Studies

The International option in DIT, IT Tallaght, Griffith College, and Letterkenny IT also includes foreign language modules.

Several Hotel & Catering PLC programmes offer a non-management entry route to careers in hospitality, or alternatively progression to a higher education award in Hospitality Management. These courses also provide valuable experience through work placement.

The Work

Hotels usually prefer their executives to have experience in the nitty-gritty of running a hotel, so graduates often gain experience in each element of the hospitality business (e. g. catering, accommodation) before becoming senior managers.

Day-to-day tasks for hotel managers can include coordinating a team of other managers and senior staff, planning the hotel budget, deciding on menus, dealing with important or troublesome guests, interviewing and training new staff, planning advertising campaigns, overseeing facilities, improvements and repairs, and liaising with other tourism professionals such as travel agents, tour reps, and local tourist authorities.

As well as managerial positions, the expansion of the hotel industry means that there are also a variety of executive positions open to graduates who may obtain, for example, a position of high responsibility with a large international hotel chain.

Whether working in a hotel, nightclub, or hostel, hospitality managers must exhibit an ability to communicate with customers in a warm and welcoming manner, as well as a working knowledge of budgets, accounts, and the bottom line.

An ability to motivate, encourage, and get the best from what is often (and unfortunately) a low-paid workforce is also an important attribute for hospitality and hotel managers.

Reception/front office staff are vital to a well-run hotel. They receive guests, handle reservations, and often have accounting and budgeting responsibilities. An ability to speak a foreign language will greatly increase one’s chances of securing work in one of the more prestigious hotels.

Did you know?

A study made by the British Hotel Association found that women steal more often than men. The American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates that theft in hotels amounts to US$100 million a year. Tut tut! is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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