Hospitality Management vs Tourism Management – Is There a Difference?

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We often see hospitality management and tourism management degrees being treated as if they’re interchangeable.  Both fields are intertwined, without a doubt. 

Look at it this way- hospitality carries all businesses that foster relations between customers. Tourism focuses on travel related activities specifically, and relies on the hospitality industry to build proper relations with customers. The development of one sector expands the opportunities for the other, and vice versa.

Both fields are vigorous, fast-changing and competitive, and require professionals to have excellent communication skills, exceptional interpersonal skills, creativity, diplomacy, conflict and problem resolving abilities with a good understanding of business.

While they do go hand-in-hand, they are not necessarily the same. Careers in both fields require distinct skills and academic qualifications.  If you are considering a career in either field, it is important to understand the differences and see where your skills and interests fit in, to be able to choose the right career path for yourself.

Hospitality Management

Hospitality exists as both a concept and an industry. To put it simply, hospitality as a concept is the relationship between a guest and a host.  Hospitality is a service industry, which encompasses the implementation of well-rounded management practices focused on providing pleasant experiences and comfortable services to guests at establishments such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, clubs and more. 

The key focus of professionals working in hospitality management is to secure strong and substantial relationships with the guests by maximising their well-being in order to earn their trust and loyalty and increase the positive brand reputation for the establishments. 

The management of hotels, customer service and tourism companies all fall under the job scope of hospitality management graduates. While studying hotel management, students may choose to specialise in hotel operations, F&B departments in hotels and restaurants, human resources and talent management, among others.

Roles & Responsibilities Entailing Hospitality Management Careers

  • Strategic management of hotels/ hospitality industry establishments 
  • Provision of a well-rounded experience to ensure the guests are happy
  • Determine room rates and budgets
  • Respond to guest inquiries about services and policies
  • Investigate and resolve any complaints or problems raised by the guests
  • Set the standards for guest services, housekeeping, food quality, etc
  • Managing talent and lead a diverse range of employees
  • Principles of sustainability and innovation

Career Opportunities with a Degree in Hospitality Management

  • Restaurant/Hotel Manager
  • Conventions/Events Planner
  • Director of Operations
  • Housekeeping Manager
  • General Manager
  • Hospital/ Tourism Industry Entrepreneurs

General Entry Requirements for Hospitality Management Degrees

SPM/ IGCSE O Levels or Equivalent

Grade C or above in 3 subjects

STPM/ GCE A Levels or Equivalent

Grade C or above in 2 subjects

Foundation/ Diploma

Minimum CGPA of 2.0

UEC

Grade B or above in 5 subjects

*The requirements may vary among universities, for inquiries on other entry requirements, contact Excel Education.

English Requirements

IELTS

5.5 overall score, with no components lower than 5.0

TOEFL

34 (Internet Based Test)

STPM English

B3 or B+

O Level English

Grade C or above

*The requirements may vary among universities, for inquiries on other entry requirements, contact Excel Education.

Recommended Universities to Study Hospitality Management in Malaysia

1. Taylor's University

Programme

Bachelor of International Hospitality Management (Hons)

 

*Dual Award with University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès (UT2J) France

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes                    

January, March, August

Indicative Fees (2021)          

RM 103, 248

2. UCSI University

Image Credit: ucsiuniversity.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management (Hons)


*Dual Award with HTMi Switzerland

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, May & September

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 53, 546

 

3. Sunway University

Image Credit: sunway.com.my

Programme

Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes                       

January, April & August

Indicative Fees (2021)            

RM 88, 900

4. INTI International University & Colleges

Image Credit: newinti.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Business (International Hotel & Resort Management) (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, May & September

Indicative Fees (2021)            

RM 76, 494

5. Berjaya University College

Image Credit: berjaya.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, May & September

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 62, 875

Tourism Management

Like hospitality, tourism is also both a concept and an industry. According to UNWTO, “tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”. The tourism industry caters and facilitates goods and services for the pleasure and enjoyment of these travellers, known as tourists. 

Tourism management focuses on administering activities related to the multi-faceted tourism industry. It deals with three major components:

  • Accommodation: hotels, motels, resorts, and more living arrangements 
  • Accessibility: aeroplanes, cars, cruises and other transportation and travel arrangements
  • Attractions: Historic sites, natural resources, theme parks and other tourist attractions

Tourism management graduates are equipped with training, expertise and skills in aspects such as business administration processes, management principles and concepts, and other tourism related topics such as environmental implications, tourism organisations, motivation to travel, etc.

Roles & Responsibilities Entailing Tourism Management Careers

  • Understand customer needs and preferences to help plan their trips
  • Create itineraries/ tour packages for customers travel needs
  • Help determine the best travel options for clients
  • Tourism marketing
  • Book reservations (hotels, flights, etc)
  • Provide well-rounded customer experience and satisfaction

Career Opportunities with a Degree in Tourism Management

  • Travel Consultant
  • Tour Guide
  • Tour Operator
  • Travel Journalist
  • Recreation & Entertainment Manager
  • Destination Brand Manager

General Entry Requirements for Tourism Management Degrees

SPM/ IGCSE O Levels or Equivalent

Grade C or above in 3 subjects

STPM/ GCE A Levels or Equivalent

Grade C or above in 2 subjects

Foundation/ Diploma

Minimum CGPA of 2.0

UEC

Grade B or above in 5 subjects

*The requirements may vary among universities, for inquiries on other entry requirements, contact Excel Education.

English Requirements

IELTS

5.5 overall score, with no components lower than 5.0

TOEFL

34 (Internet Based Test)

STPM English

B3 or B+

O Level English

Grade C or above

*The requirements may vary among universities, for inquiries on other entry requirements, contact Excel Education.

Recommended Universities to Study Tourism Management in Malaysia

1. Taylor's University

Programme

Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons)


*Dual Award with University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès (UT2J) France

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, March, August

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 103, 248

 

2. UCSI University

Image Credit: ucsiuniversity.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Arts in Event & Tourism Management (Hons)


*Dual Award with HTMi Switzerland

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, May & September

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 41, 242

3. Asia Pacific University

Image Credit: apu.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

March, May, September

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 81, 800

 

4. Berjaya University College

Image Credit: berjaya.edu.my

Programme

Bachelor of Tourism Management (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, May & September

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 62, 875

 

5. HELP University

Programme

Bachelor of Tourism Management (Hons)

Duration

3 years (full-time)

Intakes

January, March, May, August, October

Indicative Fees (2021)

RM 73, 400

 

 

Hospitality Management VS Tourism Management at a Glance

 

HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT

TOURISM MANAGEMENT

FOCUS

Fields such as accommodation, food and beverages, catering

Entails all activities in the tourism industry (tour packages, bookings and reservations)

ACTIVITIES

Deals with accommodation, F&B requirements, provision of customer services in resorts, hotels and motels

Deals with activities such as guided tours, ticketing, designing tour packages

SUBJECTS STUDIED

  • Food & Leisure Management

  • Principles of Restaurant Operation

  • Hotel Revenue Management

  • Accommodation Management

  • Tourism Business Management

  • Tourism Economics

  • Tourism Entrepreneurship

  • Planning & Management of Events

CATEGORY

Subcategory of the tourism industry

Separate industry which encapsulates hospitality

If you’re someone who is passionate about traveling, interested in learning about different cultures, has a flair for communication,  a degree in hospitality management or tourism management would allow you to pursue these interests further, personally and professionally.

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About the Author

Rifqa Abdulla

angsty pisces

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