According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), almost 0.2 million foreign visitors come to Bangladesh every year. Besides, a report of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry revealed that the number of tourists coming to Bangladesh doubled since 2011. Added to this rise, Bangladesh being one of the most attractive South Asian developing nations for investment, numerous foreign investors come to Bangladesh every day for business purposes. Also, due to the large number of historical places, the number of native tourists is also increasing exponentially.
It is visible that the tourism industry in Bangladesh has propelled its existence as one of the country's biggest industries. And this industry has brought with it a lucrative career opportunity in hotel management, as countless international standard hotels, motels, resorts, and rest houses have been built in the country. Running such high quality institutions requires skilled human resources. Hence, the hotel management discipline in higher studies is also becoming popular.
Rahfat Salman, marketing and communication officer of Radisson Blu Chattogram Bay View, talked about a successful career in this sector. "Nowadays a career in hotel management is gaining popularity in Bangladesh for which many institutions are providing degrees in this field, which will ultimately help to make a skilled manpower in this profession." He also reminded that a student, after taking a degree in hotel management, can work in the luxurious hotels not only in the country but also abroad, as the demand of proficient employees is high.
According to the hierarchy of the employee position, a general manager stays at the top who directs and controls all the administrative tasks. An assistant general manager is recruited to coordinate the administrative tasks of the general manager. There are some other posts in a hotel which are guest relations manager, front desk manager, housekeeping manager, reservation manager, etc. But according to the size of the hotel, there can be some extra positions for the employees. A hotel manager generally begins his career as a guest relations, front desk, housekeeping, or reservation officer. Within five to eight years, one can get promoted to manager position, and after that assistant general manager of the hotel. At last, according to skills and dedication, one can be promoted to the general manager position.
Financially speaking, this career holds better opportunities than most other industries. A general manager can earn Tk 50,000-65,000 working in a five-star hotel. The range may be higher according to place and the number of guests to the hotel. On the other hand, in the medium or small range hotels, the salary range can be Tk 30,000- 40,000 on average. Besides, in some hotels a portion of the profit is distributed among the staff as a dividend.
Ridoan Ullah, officer of Hotel Agrabad, Chattogram shared, "Over the time, many graduates are entering this profession and contributing to enhance the brand value of the sector." He believes this flourishing sector will help to reduce the unemployment rate as well.
Nowadays, bachelor's, MBA, and diploma degrees in hotel management are being offered by some public and private institutions in the country. Among them University of Dhaka, Daffodil University, Bangladesh Hotel Management and Tourism Institute, American International University Bangladesh, etc. provide bachelor’s degrees on hotel management. Such degrees open doorways for the students to work not only in the country, but also in the famous hotels around the world.
Mir Shahadat Hossain, reservation sales supervisor of Hotel Best Western Alliance, Chattogram, considers hotel management a bright career. He said, "With the growth of business and the development of the tourism industry, hotel management is now a prominent sector in Bangladesh. Keeping pace with the developed world, Bangladeshi hotels are also providing high quality hospitality services to the guests as well as financial and other benefits to their staff."
As of now, tourism seems to have taken the backseat due to the pandemic. However, good days are not very far and when everything comes back to normalcy, a hotel management career will be one of the topmost choices among the youth.
The writer is a third year student of Banking and Insurance at the University of Chittagong.