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Why Earn an MBA in Hospitality Management?

The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is among the world's largest industries with a global economic contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of more than $7.6 trillion in 2016, according to Statista. Global tourism revenue nearly doubled from 2005 to 2015 and continues to experience steady growth almost every year.

Plunkett Research shows that restaurants and hotels combined to contribute more than 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars directly into the economy in 2016.

The United States benefits heavily from the world's desire to travel and spend. According to SelectUSA, the U.S. travel, tourism and hospitality industry generated nearly $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2015, representing 2.6 percent of gross domestic product. This supported 7.6 million jobs. One out of every 18 Americans was employed, either directly or indirectly, in a travel or tourism-related industry.

Though the United States has an overall trade deficit -- meaning we export more than we import -- the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is not to blame. Expenditures by international visitors totaled $246 billion in 2015, yielding a $98 billion trade surplus. The U.S. Department of Commerce projects international travel to the U.S. to grow by 3 percent annually through 2021.

This data points to a future of opportunities for professionals who choose to devote their education and careers to this industry.

The Industry Requires Specialized Expertise

The U.S. travel, tourism and hospitality industry is diverse and competitive, encompassing many sectors including the following:

  • Lodging
  • Food and Beverage
  • Cruising
  • Gaming
  • Marinas
  • Convention Centers
  • Recreation and Amusement Parks
  • Professional Sports Facilities

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette prepares students for management and executive roles in these sectors. The AACSB-accredited online MBA with a concentration in hospitality management program provides expertise and a versatile skill set that enables students to choose their own career direction. Graduates are prepared to take on diverse challenges, from opening a new international location of a domestic business to taking a family-run resort to the next level.

The program provides in-depth knowledge about business expansion -- the preparation of feasibility studies and plans for new locations, for instance. It develops insight into relevant industry problems and emerging issues impacting the domestic and global hospitality industry.

In addition to learning core business skills -- from managerial economics to data analysis -- students taking the hospitality MBA concentration will achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Study international business expansion, beginning with the feasibility research process.
  • Learn how to research and analyze facts and trends concerning economic and demographic factors that impact various regions.
  • Understand organizational theory and practices including individual behavior, motivation, group dynamics, organizational structure, quality management and leadership skills.
  • Gain an understanding of broad issues and analyze specific topics which affect international business activities in an increasingly interdependent world.
  • Deepen knowledge of analytics, financial management, marketing and economics.

With these skills, graduates may go on to a variety of lucrative management and executive-level positions in hospitality. Many graduates start out as restaurant, hotel, facilities, convention and resort managers. It is common for graduates with this degree to move up within sectors or to move from one sector to another. With versatile yet specialized skill sets, graduates can be confident in a career as dynamic as the hospitality industry itself.

Learn more about the UL Lafayette MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Management Online Program.


Plunkett Research: Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Statistics

Statista: Global Travel and Tourism Industry Statistics & Facts

SelectUSA: Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Spotlight

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