Are hospitality teachers failing to teach sustainability?

Will tomorrow's managers understand sustainability?

Will tomorrow's managers understand sustainability?

Green Hotelier Talking Point: Guest Blog

In a guest blog post, Harold Goodwin, Chair of the International Tourism Partnership’s Advisory Panel and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University argues tomorrow’s hotel managers lack sustainability training.

We want to hear your thoughts: Are the educators of tomorrow’s managers failing to provide them with the knowledge and skills on sustainability that they will need in hotel management now and in the foreseeable future?

A number of managers and consultants in hospitality and tourism have told me that the graduates coming out of undergraduate and graduate programmes  in the UK and around the world do not have knowledge and skills in sustainability management, and that these are skills which hotel managers need now, and more so in the future.

We have been conducting a competitor review as part of developing the curriculum for our new MSc in Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University which suggests that sustainability features less prominently in university and hotel school curriculums than it did 10 years ago. Is this your experience?

It is clear from Green Hotelier that managers in hospitality businesses need knowledge and skills in sustainability, to a level which was probably not necessary in mainstream hotel management 10 or 20 years ago. If we are training the managers of tomorrow, it is reasonable to assume that they will need higher level skills and knowledge in the management of water, waste and energy, in sustainable supply chains, local sourcing and in enhancing the customer experience though sustainability.

We would welcome your views here in Green Hotelier or send them to Harold Goodwin as Chair of our Advisory Panel – individual views will not be revealed. We hope that these questions might prompt you to respond publicly here in Green Hotelier or privately to the Chair of our Advisory Panel – you do not need to only answer around the sustainability agenda.

  • Do you see gaps in the education of the graduates you recruit?
  • What necessary skills and knowledge are they missing?
  • Are there institutions which equip aspiring hospitality managers to manage sustainably particularly well?

We look forward to hearing from you. Email Harold here.

NB: ITP's Youth Career Initiative Programme works directly with hotels to give disadvantaged young people a broad range of skills that will equip them for employment and a career in hospitality.


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