Pros say hospitality jobs and trends are all about attitude

Updated: 2016-03-01 09:33

By Mike Peters(China Daily)

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A survey released last year showed that the two professions most in demand in China were hairdressers and bartenders.

"Everybody has a dream as well as a need to support themselves financially in life," Huang says. "Those goals can seem contradictory at times, but attitude can change your destiny."

He is quick to note that his advice applies at least as much to industry veterans as to young people.

"We have to be ready to learn with an open heart," he says.

"The world is changing fast-after 33 years, I've never felt such pressure to learn and gain knowledge as I do today."

Conference organizers invited several stars in the field to share their experiences with the audience. Lucy Zhang, the entrepreneur behind Blossom Hill Hotels & Resorts, says she met the challenge of creating a brand-new brand in Lijiang by delivering not just a hotel but a chance to "spend time for romance"-whether guests in her courtyard were focused on enjoying the scenery on the horizon or a bowl of rice on the table.

People want to escape the busy feeling of their workplace, she says, and have an experience that is intimate-"whether it's in solitude or something social"-and in a beautiful environment.

That can mean re-creating ancient furniture. Or providing natural, unbleached linens so exquisite they invite people to sleep naked. Or providing foods that bring back memories of childhood.

"It's all about software, not hardware," she says metaphorically, adding that her goal is to let guests define the character of Blossom Hill, which now has hotels around China.

"Hospitality is about people," concurs Stocklin, "and schools have to focus on people skills. The best classrooms are kitchens, restaurants and reception desks, and that's where we put students so that they can learn from human interactions, not textbooks."

This year, the Young Hospitality Professionals Summit will be held in June in Beijing and in October in Singapore.


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