More and more room for staff
The hotel industry has always faced manpower problems. Many students who study hospitality choose to avoid the industry after graduation, in light of having had to work much harder than they had expected during their hotel internships. Moreover, hospitality students nowadays have many more job options to choose from, such as serviced apartments, the cruise industry or airlines.
While additional options exacerbate manpower shortages, the fact that demand is so much higher than supply means that there are always plenty of employment opportunities.
The opening of the Kai Tak cruise terminal may benefit Hong Kong’s retail industry, but not the hotel business. Tourists who come on a cruise to Hong Kong may only stay for one day, or even just a few hours. It is not necessary for them to look for accommodation.
The language skills of university graduates have always been the subject of criticism by employers. This can affect the industry’s service quality, as staff must serve tourists from different parts of the world. But as hotels tend to provide language training for staff, it is not a major problem.
Solange Leung, programme director, HKU SPACE College of Business and Finance
As told to Chiu Po-sze