Hospitality Marketing and Sales
A job in hospitality marketing and sales may involve promoting recreational options like a theme park, resort or cruise line. Continue reading to learn more about employment prospects and educational options for marketing and sales experts who specialize in hospitality.
Is the Field of Hospitality Marketing and Sales for Me?
The hospitality industry is a broad field that includes accommodations, food service and recreation. Resorts, casinos and theme parks are a few examples of hospitality outlets. Hospitality marketing and sales involves the advertising, promotion and selling of the services and products across this wide-ranging industry.
As a hospitality specialist, you may be employed as a hotel marketing or restaurant marketing professional. You may also find a management position with a casino, cruise line or theme park. In any one of these positions, your primary focus will be on developing advertising strategies, researching trends and overseeing public relations efforts, as you convince people to buy your company's products or services. Additional opportunities may be found in advertising sales, travel and sales management. Travel agents often have perks, such as reduced accommodations and transportation expenses.
Employment and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of marketing managers in general is expected to increase by 13% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Advertising sales agents, who handle advertising for newspapers, television, radio and websites, can expect minimal or no change in employment during the same 10-year period. By comparison, travel agents can expect a 12% decline in job openings through 2022. As of May 2013, advertising sales and travel agents earned median annual salaries of $45,830 and $34,530 respectively, as reported by the BLS (www.bls.gov).
The BLS does not report salary information specific to marketing managers in the travel and hospitality services industry. However, according to PayScale.com, marketing managers employed in travel and hospitality services in June 2014 earned a median annual salary of $56,171.
How Can I Work in Hospitality Marketing and Sales?
The BLS reported that most employers prefer to hire marketing managers who have a bachelor's degree in marketing or Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a marketing concentration. While few schools offer programs specific to the industry, certificates and specializations in hospitality may be available. You may also find professional certificate programs that prepare you for entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry.
An MBA in Marketing program is one way for you to develop an understanding of the science related to consumer behavior. You'll also acquire the tools and techniques necessary to develop effective advertising campaigns. Core coursework typically includes topics in advertising and promotion, data analysis, marketing research and statistics.
If you're interested in becoming a travel agent, you'll be able to find programs through a community college or vocational school; online course and programs may also be available. In addition to studying the hospitality industry, formal training programs can provide you with the information you need to sit for the Travel Agent Proficiency Test (TAP Test).