The word hospitality comes from the Latin word hospes, which means host or guest. Hospitality has come to mean meeting the needs of guests with kindness and goodwill. The hospitality and tourism industry (H &T industry) meets the needs of people with kindness and goodwill while they are away from their homes. The H & T industry is broken into four service sectors: food and beverage, lodging, recreation, and travel and tourism.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), H & T is the world’s largest industry, and has a current annual growth rate of 4.2% worldwide. In USA dollars, the world H & T industry is expected to generate over $6.4 trillion in 2007. By 2016 it is projected to generate $12.1 trillion. Hospitality creates jobs, allows economies to grow, and helps people explore the world for personal satisfaction or business. Below are some hospitality statistics that support these claims.

These statistics are from the WTTC and were collected in 2006; they are representative of the worldwide hospitality industry.

In the United States alone, over $1.6 trillion was generated in 2006 from the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry is the 2nd largest employer in country; the healthcare industry is first (Reynolds, 20). More than 15 million  people work in the industry, which is equivalent to 1 in every 9.2 jobs across the country or 10.9% of total employment. Americans spent, on average, 9.4% of their personal consumption dollars on hospitality and the United States as a whole spends more on hospitality than any other country in the world.

In Kentucky, hospitality is the second largest industry; agriculture is the first.

The H & T industry is about service. The industry provides service to people when they are away from their home, and sometimes even when they are home. For example, home delivery of food would be part of the hospitality industry as would a masseuse that does home visits or a cook that does at-home cooking lessons or catering.

The H &T industry is about diversity. There are small, large, privately owned, and publicly owned businesses. There are people of every socioeconomic class, cultural background, race, age, and religion involved with H &T, both in providing and receiving the services. The H & T industry reaches every corner of the globe, while providing jobs, entertainment, food, transportation, and a place sleep. The H & T industry is about entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are people that start businesses. The H & T industry is full of businesses that serve people and are owned by a single person or family. This means not only are there many H & T jobs working for someone else, there is a lot of H & T opportunity to work for yourself. Worldwide examples of entrepreneurs creating small businesses that became big business are: McDonalds, Marriott hotels, Holiday Inn hotels, Albertsons food stores, and Southwest Airlines.

The hospitality industry is complex. It covers a wide range of jobs, locations, activities, and economic brackets. There are 4 sectors of the hospitality industry: food and beverage, lodging, recreation, and travel and tourism.

The food and beverage industry, also known as the foodservice industry, consists of businesses that prepare food for customers. It is the largest segment of the hospitality industry in the US. It is estimated that the foodservice industry provides 50% of all meals eaten in the US today; with so many people eating out, many opportunities for food entrepreneurs exist. A business in this industry can range from casual to fancy, large to small, expensive to inexpensive. The number of people employed in foodservice industry is expected to double by 2015 to approximately 22 million people (Reynolds 23)

Lodging, also known as accommodation, is a place to sleep for one or more nights. A business in the lodging industry is a business that provides a place for people to sleep overnight. It can be one of many sleeping places such as a fancy hotel, a youth hostel, an elder hostel, a campground, or highway side motel.

Recreation is any activity that people do for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment. The goal of recreation is to refresh a person’s body and mind. Any business that provides an activity for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment in order to refresh a person’s body and mind is in the recreation business. Recreation businesses are incredibly diverse because people have varying ideas on what activities they participate in for rest, relaxation and enjoyment. There are four general types of recreation businesses: entertainment, attractions, spectator sports, and participatory sports.

The travel industry is in the business of moving people from place to place while the tourism industry provides those people with services that promote travel and vacations. Busses, planes, cabs, boats, and passenger trains are all part of the travel industry while travel agencies, tour operators, cruise companies, convention planners, and visitors bureaus are all part of the tourism industry.

The H & T industry helps other industries around it grow, thus creating a basis for an economy. In “tourist towns”, for example, the entire economy is built up around the H & T industry. In places like this, a lawyer is not directly part of the hospitality industry, but a lawyer that works for a hotel chain is supported by the hospitality industry and a school teacher that teaches in this type of community is also supported by the hospitality industry. Shop owners, business providers, government agencies, and other service providers all rely on the tourism to bring people into their businesses.

Other, non-tourist based economies also rely on the H & T industry for growth. For example, an agriculture community that raises lots of barley may supply much of their crop to alcohol manufacturing, which in turn is served in the foodservice sector of the H & T industry. Another example would be a M.D. that specializes in orthopaedic surgery and lives in a town where many injuries are due to recreational activities.

Ultimately, any town with a hotel, restaurant, or recreational activity is affected by and employs people in the hospitality industry.

The ability to serve people food, give them a place to sleep, and provide them with entertainment is the back bone of many economies the globe over.



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