Employability and Skills Handbook for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Students: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Employability and Skills Handbook for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Students

1st Edition

By Miriam Firth


392 pages | 65 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-12-16
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This handbook provides students with an essential understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to work in the Tourism, Hospitality and Events industries. It offers reflective, reflexive and critical analysis on personal, academic and professional development.

Not only looking at how to develop the skills, attributes and prospects for employment in these competitive industries, this also focuses on what the employers in Tourism, Hospitality and Events sectors require of graduate employees. Highly illustrated, the chapters contain think points and activities, and case studies are integrated throughout offering first hand advice from both employer and graduate perspectives.

The first book to focus on skills and employability in Tourism, Hospitality and Events, this is a must read for all students in these fields.


‘With over two decade’s experience both working in and researching the hospitality, tourism and events industries, the author is pre-eminently qualified to produce this handbook. There are many other human resources and employment texts in the marketplace, but this carves itself a niche for its practical utility for students. Designed primarily as a companion to student learning, a secondary audience could well be leaders in the industry, inquisitive about the competencies and skills their new hires should possess.’

Dr Richard Robinson, Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland, Australia

‘This text is unique in that it offers students from a wide range of tourism, hospitality, events, and related disciplines an excellent insight into the academic and professional development that is required to underpin their education and for their lifelong learning. The text provides an excellent foundation for researchers in the critical area of professional development. I recommend this book to students, academics, and management in the sector as an important, new and contemporary text’

Dr Susan Horner, Associate Professor, Plymouth University, UK

‘This is a much needed and valuable resource for both students and teachers of hospitality, tourism and events courses. Employability and work skills are essential for the future workforce and will ensure relevance for both the industry and the educational institutions that serve it.’

Professor Nigel Hemmington, Pro Vice Chancellor Research Enterprise and International, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

‘This textbook is an essential read for any student studying tourism, hospitality and events management. It offers useful, detailed and important chapters on academic and professional development and will help any undergraduate preparing to study and work in these vibrant and diverse industries.’

Emma Abson, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

‘This is a welcome addition to the academic texts in the area of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management. It is refreshing, topical and highly relevant to see a text that is aimed directly at students and also which guides and supports them in developing the necessary skills and attributes to work in today’s highly challenging and competitive tourism industry. Firth provides excellent insights into the demands of working within the industry, current trends and challenges and a huge awareness of the skills and personal attributes graduates need. The text is well structured with clear LOs for each chapter and engaging activities, case studies and think points to guide the reader. The text is also extremely insightful and supportive for academics within universities who are working with employee engagement, work placements and developing student employability skills. If only a text like this had been available whilst studying and to guide me as a graduate in the field of Tourism!’

Dr Jane Ali-Knight, Professor in Festival and Event Management, Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Table of Contents

Part One: Employability skills for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management

  1. Introduction to the textbook
  2. Introduction

    Textbook scope

    Key definitions: Employability and Skills

    Using the textbook for professional development in Tourism, Hospitality and Management



  3. Sector Overviews
  4. Introduction

    The scope of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management Businesses

    Leisure and Recreation: Overarching sectoral and research positions

    Research strands in support of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management Employability and Skill Development



  5. Graduate Employment
  6. Introduction

    What is graduate employment?

    Types of employment: SME, MNC, Non-profit, Public and Self

    Employment and labour markets

    Employment in Tourism, Hospitality and Events



  7. Skills for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Employment
  8. Introduction

    Core, key, and transferable skills

    Being entrepreneurial 24/7

    Matching skills to job descriptions in the service sectors



  9. Text Structure
  10. Introduction

    Structure of the Textbook Chapters

    Added support: Case study, Activity, & Think Points

    Revision Questions, Additional Sources and Reference Lists

    Learning gains from Learning Outcomes

    A note for academics and teachers


    Part Two: Personal Development

  11. Personal development in Tourism, Events and Hospitality
  12. Introduction

    A Personal Skills Appraisal

    Skill mapping for Tourism, Hospitality and Events


  13. Self-awareness
  14. Introduction

    Definitions of Self-awareness

    Critical thinking and neuro-linguistic programming for self-awareness

    Personal performance and presentation



  15. Relationship skills
  16. Introduction

    Personal Relationships

    Soft and interpersonal skills for professional relationships

    Cultural, cross-cultural and intercultural tenets of relationships

    Emotion, Aesthetics and Sexualisation in relationships

    Being a citizen of the world



  17. Time Management
  18. Introduction

    Time management as a personal ability

    Strategies for time management


  19. Learning Styles
  20. Introduction

    Approaches to learning

    Learning styles

    Learning forms and styles to aid academic and professional



  21. Effective communication
  22. Introduction

    Forms of communication: verbal and non-verbal

    Written and Digital communication



    Part Three: Academic Development Strategies

  23. Goals and Targets
  24. Introduction

    Framing your goals and targets through research approaches and philosophies

    Types of academic goals and targets

    Strategies for meeting goals and targets



  25. Finding academic articles
  26. Introduction

    Forms of published academic material

    Themes and key words

    Methods for searching

    Search techniques and choosing the literature


  27. Reading academic texts
  28. Introduction

    Motivations for reading in personal, academic and professional contexts

    Inductive and Deductive Reasoning for Reading

    Surface and Deep reading

    Strategies for effective reading



  29. Academic Writing
  30. Introduction

    Conventions within academic writing

    Writing using judgement, power and balance

    Strategies for academic writing


  31. Secondary and primary sources
  32. Introduction

    Types and categories of sources

    Using Primary and Secondary sources in different Research Methods

    Sources used in academic and professional contexts



  33. Motivating yourself
  34. Introduction

    Nurturing and developing your motivation

    Motivational theories applied in academic and professional contexts



  35. Group work and alternative assessments
  36. Introduction

    Group work in studies leading to team working in industry

    Forms of academic assessment for group work



    Part Four: Professional Development

  37. Reflective and reflexive thinking and learning
  38. Introduction

    Learning and thinking reflectively and reflexively

    Reflecting upon leadership, management, manipulation and influence

    Reflexive positions on leadership, management, manipulation and influence from THE management contexts



  39. Networking
  40. Introduction

    Networking for academic and professional development

    Skills for networking

    Methods and processes for individual networking


  41. Coaching and Mentoring
  42. Introduction

    Performance Management

    Coaching and Mentoring

    Utilising coaches and mentors for your career planning and development



  43. Forms of employment experience
  44. Non-traditional locations for THE employment experience


  45. Career Mapping

About the Author

Dr Miriam Firth has worked, researched and taught in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management programmes for over 15 years. Building upon a career in Hotel, Restaurant and Festival management she specialises in supporting the employability of students, and professional development for management in these sectors. From working and continued research in these industries, her publications are informed from both published research and active experience in the contexts from which students will graduate into. She is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester (ranked 27th in the world 2019), Programme Director of BA (hons) Management, Leadership and Leisure, and Director of Teaching and Learning Strategy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Hospitality, Travel & Tourism