How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

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What skills do you need to be a hotel manager? Following a special media masterclass for select hospitality journalists, this was the question posed to Arie van der Spek, chief executive of Glion Institute of Higher Education. 

The Swiss-based institute will be opening its first branch campus in London this August where it will take on students for its Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality Administration. 

After three years in the classroom and at placements with hotels, students will be ready to step into a management position at top hotels in the UK and overseas. 

"Their hospitality training includes theoretical and hands-on learning which, along with their one-year cumulative internships, allow them to develop concrete skills honed in real-world situations and hit the ground running when they start working," said van der Spek.

Who can be a hotel manager? 

The hospitality sector is predicted to grow by 1.8 per cent this year according to a report by PWC and we are expecting to see another 5,000 hotel bedrooms open (in addition to the 8,000 opened last year). More managers will be needed to run these hotels, so opportunities will be available, but, if you're considering a career as a hotel manager or want to move up the ranks, what kind of person do you need to be? 

This was the question I asked of van der Spek following a two-hour masterclass where a small number of hospitality journalists were given an insight into the world of a hotel manager. 

We were asked to recognise hotel brands, match up hotel bars with their respective hotels and work out the profit in a cup of coffee as well as being tested on health and safety, people management and more. 

While none of us were ready to give up our day jobs, the exercise did make us question exactly what is involved in a hotel manager role and 

As well as being a team player and a good leader there are more 'soft skills' needed, such as liking people and displaying 'passion' for your job. 

"If you feel passion and cultural understanding you probably won't fail if you have those qualities," added van der Spek, a former hotel manager for IHG. 

Think this could be you? Listen to the audio for more of van der Spek's top tips to becoming a hotel manager. 

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