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1: Welcome and Introduction

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    Resoures Welcome and Introduction.jpg

    Cover image and all graphics created by Alanna Clunen.

    1.1 Welcome

    Once upon a time, there was an industry that employed ten-percent of workers worldwide. It spanned borders and cultures, economics, and demographics. It endured man-made catastrophes, natural disasters, economic crises, and technological evolution. It is resilient. It is flexible. It will not rest. Of course, I am referring to the hospitality industry.

    Recently, the hospitality industry has faced exceptional adversity in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, it has persevered and evolved to continue to provide customers with, although altered, high-quality customer service. Although some players have closed their doors forever, others have adapted to see record growth. The future for hospitality organizations will continue to shift and morph from the world we once knew but it goes without saying that this industry will survive and continue to thrive whatever comes its way.

    Join us as we explore the history and future of this diverse and dynamic industry. Each section will show you career paths and real-world success stories in a different segment of the industry. My hope is that your eyes are opened to new opportunities and your passion is ignited to explore how your journey may unfold as a customer, an employee, and, potentially, a leader in the great big world of hospitality.

    Bon Voyage!

    Christy Douglass, Editor & Founder of TEAM Hosp (Teach-Engage-Advocate-Market)


    1.2 A Note to Faculty

    Faculty wishing to adopt this text, please complete our brief survey. Upon verification, you will gain access to instructor resources such as test banks, slide decks, and other materials as they are developed. You will also receive periodic updates when the text is revised and be notified when the Canvas shell is complete. 

    The original version of this text includes sections in alphabetical order. Faculty are encouraged to use the Remixer Tool to customize the content to their program and course needs. Remixed versions prepared for 6- and 12-week terms will be available to adopt for Fall 2021. 

    If you have a question about this text or wish to report an issue or error, please contact 

    If you are interested in advancing Hospitality Education or wish to collaborate on OER, please contact 


    1.3 Introduction

    What is hospitality? 

    Hospitality is the act of hosting people, serving people, making people feel welcomed. It all started in ancient times when trading between regions required individuals to stay overnight somewhere away from home. Although many traders set up camp, some saw the opportunity to host travelers in their homes, establishing the first rudimentary inns. These inns expanded to offer food to travelers and the basic foundation of the hospitality industry was born. 

    Over the past 2000 years or so, inns and restaurants have certainly come a long way. The hospitality industry has evolved to include sectors that overlap into every aspect of human life including food and beverage, lodging, travel and tourism, recreation, events, gaming, and other forms of entertainment. Together, these segments form an industry that is among the largest in the world. Research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council found that in 2019 travel and tourism contributed $8.9 trillion toward global Gross Domestic Product, accounting for 10.3% of global GDP, while providing 330 million jobs, about 1 in 10 jobs around the world. (WTTC 2019 Economic Impact Report All rights reserved)

    Is a career in hospitality right for me?

    Such a large industry is bound to have employment and career opportunities for anyone. Hospitality organizations hire employees in all of the traditional front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) roles, however as every hospitality business is a business, they must also fill administrative roles such as human resources, marketing, and finance positions. Having these more traditional roles within a hospitality organization can offer unique perks and benefits that other companies do not provide. The bottom line is that, whatever your interest or passion, the hospitality industry has career opportunities for you.  

    Throughout this text, students will learn about the various segments of the hospitality industry. We will investigate career opportunities and explore career paths taken by individuals who work in the hospitality field. Our hope is that you will be exposed to segments of the industry you weren’t aware of and envision yourself starting down a unique career path in the world of hospitality.

    What’s with the pineapple? 

    It all started in Europe in the 1500s when pineapples were shipped in from the Caribbean. The high cost of shipping meant that pineapples could only be obtained in Europe by royalty and the wealthy, establishing an association with opulence and prestige. Individuals would place their prized pineapple at the center of their table for all of their guests to see. Over time, the representation shifted from a sign of wealth to a sign of welcome. To this day, the pineapple is used as an unofficial logo of hospitality and many organizations within the industry.


    1.4 A Note to Students

    What to Expect Throughout This Text

    This text was created by over forty individuals who have a passion for the hospitality industry. As such, each section may vary slightly in writing style, length, and formatting. Although the sections may not be completely consistent, we can guarantee that each contains perspectives from experts on the topic and will provide students with a realistic, current, and honest perspective of the hospitality industry.

    Text Goals

    • To replace expensive and quickly outdated traditional textbooks with a free, digital, current introduction to the hospitality industry compiled by a diverse group of college and university faculty and industry professionals.

    • To provide beginning hospitality students with a broad overview of the industry, highlighting career paths and employment opportunities and presenting topics that pique their interest, encouraging them to take additional courses in the discipline and/or seek employment in the field.

    • To provide hospitality faculty with a relevant, flexible text, allowing them to remix content to fit their course and program offerings.

    Industry Segments & Disciplines Sections

    Each Industry Segment and Industry Discipline section presents a detailed look at a specific segment or discipline within the hospitality industry. These sections are intended to be shorter than a traditional textbook chapter, allowing broader coverage of the industry and more instructor flexibility. Faculty may choose to use the remixer tool to curate their own version of the text, presenting a select number of these sections, in any order as appropriate to their program, course objectives, or term length.

    Industry Segment & Discipline sections will contain:

    • Learning Objectives

      • Each chapter will begin by laying out learning objectives. These will be measurable and specific and will align with the content presented in the section.

    • In the Beginning... 

      • This section will review the origins and evolution of this industry segment or discipline. We will review the key elements of operation and how this segment functions in relation to the greater hospitality industry. 

    • A Day in the Life

      • This section will feature an interview with a manager working in this industry segment. They will describe their typical day and share thoughts about how others can be successful in hospitality roles.

    • #CareerGoals 

      • This section will highlight thriving-wage career opportunities that students may not have been aware of within this industry segment. 

    • Journey to Success 

      • This section will show the various career paths taken by several management-level employees in this industry segment, stressing that there are countless paths to success in this field.

    • A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow 

      • This section will highlight sustainability, accessibility, inclusion, and technology advances within this industry segment and future outlook of continued work that can be done in these critical areas.

    • Until Next Time

      • Each segment or discipline section will conclude with a summary of what was covered and additional resources for students wishing to learn more.

    Hospitality Concepts Sections

    These shorter sections will highlight topics that fit within a specific industry segment or overarch several industry segments and disciplines. 

    Hospitality Concepts sections will contain: 

    • Concept Explanation, History, etc.

    • Relationship of this concept to the overall hospitality industry

    • Connection of this concept to employability and/or career opportunities

    • Other relevant information as appropriate

    Industry Response to COVID-19

    The creation of this textbook took place during the global pandemic of 2020. Because there were so many unknowns as to the long term impact the pandemic would have on the hospitality industry, the authors chose to present each section through a pre-pandemic lens. Although this excludes the amazing work our industry has done to stay agile and meet consumer needs during this time, we feel it is the best way to present the information until enough time has passed that we can write about COVID-19 in the past-tense. 

    We did not, however, want to gloss over the fact that this pandemic has forever changed our industry. Therefore, we have included a section on COVID Response to be used as an information tool on how the industry has reacted and a brainstorming exercise on how we can move forward. 

    We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all of the front-line hospitality workers who risk their safety to keep our industry alive and send our deepest sympathy to those impacted by the loss of co-workers, friends, and family during this unprecedented time. 

    Supplemental Resources

    • Glossary

      • Throughout the text, keywords will be highlighted and linked to the glossary section. Students can click on keywords throughout the text to view their glossary entry or go directly to the glossary to review all keywords presented in the text.

    • Contributor Bios

      • Throughout the text, you will see the names of contributors listed at the beginning of each section they authored. Each contributor has shared a brief bio allowing readers to understand their background and experience. Many included their contact information and encourage readers to reach out if they have questions or wish to connect. 

    • Organization Snapshots

      • The team that wrote and compiled this text is affiliated with dozens of educational institutions, companies, and nonprofits. Many organizations featured in the text are presented in a brief snapshot page. These pages provide readers with background and contact information for each organization.

      1: Welcome and Introduction is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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