Passe are the days when students were bound to choose between science and commerce as their college majors. However, ever since we entered the contemporary world, advancements in new-age industries have opened various opportunities for students. Among various options, the hospitality industry emerged as a significant field, alluring versatile talent from all age groups. Additionally, the post-pandemic era has also educated us about the extent and viability of the hospitality and tourism industries in all major destinations, resulting in greater chances for students and trained professionals.
The hospitality industry market size is estimated at $23.50 billion in 2023 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 4.73% to reach $29.61 billion by 2028, as per Mordor Intelligence. It is an industry that has witnessed great growth, and its future appears to be as bright as ever, as people’s basic needs for food, travel, and lodging will never die. The industry is undergoing a fundamental upheaval as a result of shifting consumer tastes, technological improvements, and globalization. As a result of these changing patterns, an increasing number of students are pursuing further education in hospitality administration and associated professions. So, lets delve into the influence of new-age trends in the hospitality sector on higher education and the role of these trends in enticing students to opt for hospitality courses.
Since traditional times, the hospitality sector has been confined to hotels and restaurants, but today the sector has expanded its horizons with evolving trends. In the modern day, it encompasses a vast spectrum of experiences, from luxury resorts and hotels to event planning, tourism management, and even technology-driven innovations like vacation rentals and travel tech startups.
In this context, with the rising trends reshaping the sector, higher education institutions are also very quick to adapt, offering courses that fit with the industry’s growing expectations. These trends not only attract students but also provide them with the necessary skills and expertise to thrive in the competitive world of hospitality. As a result of these rising trends, educational institutions have enticed students to pursue a variety of opportunities available in the hospitality business.
Access to Diverse Courses: One of the most profound shifts in higher education is the diversification of hospitality courses. Traditionally, hospitality education has focused primarily on hotel and event management. However, the contemporary hospitality landscape is embracing the trend by creating opportunities for chefs, pâtissiers, and bakers to a wide extent. Thus, students can now choose from culinary art courses offered by renowned colleges in order to become future professionals working in prominent restaurants, bakeries, and 5-star hotels. Along with culinary skills, students are provided with training in menu planning, food costing, waste management, cost control, food safety, and restaurant management. This complete approach prepares students not only to excel as culinary artists but also as potential business owners or managers in the sector.
Growth in Culinary Tourism: In recent times, culinary tourism (the synergy of travel and gastronomy), which focuses on exploring the world through food, has gained immense popularity. As a result, students who desire to travel across the globe while savoring different cuisines are opting for courses within the hospitality domain. In this setting, culinary schools are expanding their offerings by including courses on foreign cuisines, food culture, and sustainable gastronomy. Students who choose cutting-edge, innovative programs learn to cook as well as about the wide variety of world cuisines and how important they are to the tourism sector.
Utilization of Technology: Technology has become the lifeblood of every sector, with hospitality being no exception. From online bookings to contactless check-ins and AI-driven customer service, technology has transformed every aspect of the guest experience. Consequently, hospitality courses are increasingly integrating technology into their curricula. In this context, students have become exposed to well-designed kitchens, pastry labs, and classrooms, creating an immersive learning experience and enabling them to develop their skills in a realistic setting. This not only prepares them for the modern workforce but also positions them as innovators who can leverage technology to enhance guest experiences.
It is undeniably true that the hospitality industry has witnessed various transformations. Thus, keeping in mind the segment’s expansion and evolution, educational institutions are making concerted attempts to alter their curriculum and implement innovations in their teaching methods. They are providing graduate and master ‘s-level courses in hotel management, tourism and hospitality, catering technology, culinary arts, airport management, and other related subjects.
In a nutshell, students pursuing hospitality education are not just preparing for employment; they are also becoming a part of an industry that is constantly redefining quality and inventiveness. Thus, today’s hospitality trends are only inspiring a new generation of professionals willing to embrace the future of hospitality with passion and inventiveness.
Written By: Chef Tariq Jacob Rego, Assistant Pastry Chef, Academy of pastry and culinary Arts