Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism

Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Image

Do you enjoy working with people and using your communication skills? Are you happy to go the extra mile to provide customers with excellent service, including working longer hours? If so, then hospitality, leisure and tourism could be the industry for you. 

This industry needs friendly, outgoing, helpful and well organised people. 

The hospitality industry has been cited as one of the biggest drivers of job growth in the UK this year, with a record 2.6 million people currently employed in accommodation and food service. The UK’s travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated £31.38 billion, the latest figures reporting it generated (directly and indirectly) 4.11 million jobs in the UK in 2021.

What areas can I work in?

This is a wide ranging area, with jobs available at all levels. In hospitality you would be providing food, drink or accommodation services to customers. Leisure involves providing support in recreational activities. Travel and tourism can be a combination of both leisure and hospitality and also overlap with the culture and heritage sector in terms of certain visitor attractions.

All areas of this industry also involve an element of retail and jobs such as airline cabin crew and cruise ship workers are covered in the career area ‘Transport and Distribution’.

There may also be opportunities to work abroad.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

You might work for:

What’s the job market like?

The hospitality and tourism industries are important contributors to the Scottish economy, generating around £6 billion every year. Around 220,000 people work in the Scottish hospitality industry, accounting for 8.6% of all jobs in Scotland. Despite recovering from the devastating effects of the pandemic, this industry reports huge skills gaps and staff shortages - job adverts for hospitality workers in Scotland saw a 61% increase by December 2022.

Scotland’s tourism sector employed 182,400 people in 2022, accounting for more than 7% of employment in Scotland. The highest proportion (36,600) worked in Edinburgh, East and Midlothian area, with Glasgow region coming second at 33,500. The tourism workforce is predicted to rise to 192,700 people by 2025 (by 5.7%, or 10,300 people). A total of 42,700 people are required to meet the demands of the industry and it is forecast to account for 12.9% of Scotland’s total number of job openings by 2025.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

You can find out more information about different job roles in the industry from the People 1st Career Map.




Career Pathway

Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Career Pathway
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