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Embracing a new chapter: Transitioning to hospitality & tourism

Posted by Felicity Thomlinson on Jun 5, 2024 7:25:17 PM
Felicity Thomlinson

Are you contemplating a career shift or looking for a fulfilling post-retirement gig? If you're in the 50-65 age bracket, the world of hospitality and tourism offers a vibrant, welcoming space where your vast experience is not just valued but needed. Despite the popular misconception that career transitions later in life are daunting, the current skills shortage in hospitality and tourism makes this field ripe with opportunity. Here’s how your accumulated skills can pave the way for success in this dynamic industry. 

Transitioning to Hospitality & Tourism


Why hospitality and tourism? 

Hospitality and tourism are booming, with a growing demand for skilled workers across the globe. Whether it’s a picturesque vineyard in Napa, a bustling hotel in New York, or a tranquil resort in Bali, opportunities abound. The beauty of this industry is its universal need for diverse skill sets and the value it places on personal interaction and customer service—a perfect match for those with years of varied professional and life experiences. 


Transferring your skills to hospitality 

1. Interpersonal Skills:

After decades in the workforce, you’ve interacted with a variety of personalities, managed customer relations, or collaborated with teams. These interpersonal skills are gold in hospitality, where customer satisfaction is the linchpin of success. 

2. Problem-solving:

Life and work teach you to handle unexpected challenges—skills that are directly applicable to situations where quick, customer-focused solutions are needed, such as managing booking errors or addressing guest concerns promptly and efficiently. 

3. Adaptability:

Having navigated various roles or perhaps personal milestones, adaptability is second nature to you. This skill is crucial in hospitality, where guest needs can change rapidly and staff must respond with flexibility and creativity. 

4. Leadership and management:

If you’ve held any supervisory roles, you know what it takes to lead a team and manage operations smoothly. These leadership skills can help you excel in managerial roles within hotels, resorts, or tourist attractions. 

5. Cultural sensitivity:

Through life’s rich tapestry of experiences, you’ve likely developed a deep appreciation and sensitivity to different cultures—an invaluable asset in the globally interconnected world of tourism. 


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Real-world examples 

Event Coordination:

Your organizational skills could be perfect for coordinating events and conferences, ensuring all elements come together smoothly for a memorable experience. 

Tour Guide:

Love sharing knowledge? Your expertise in a specific area, such as history, art, or culture, can make you an exceptional tour guide, offering enriching experiences to travelers. 

Guest Services:

Positions in guest services require a calm demeanor and problem-solving skills, ideal for those who enjoy ensuring others’ comfort and satisfaction. 

Culinary roles:

If you have a passion for cooking, the culinary side of hospitality—be it in restaurants or as part of hotel catering—can be a fulfilling avenue, combining creativity with service. 



Starting fresh in hospitality 

Getting started may seem daunting, but many organizations value mature employees for their reliability and depth of experience. Here are a few tips to ease the transition: 

  • Leverage your network: Use your existing network to find opportunities or get recommendations. Connections can be a powerful tool in this people-oriented field. If you live in Victoria, Australia, take advantage of the free access to online learning via this program from VTIC – Register here. 

  • Consider Certifications: Some hospitality roles may require specific skills or certifications, such as food safety or hotel management. These can often be completed online or part-time. 

  • Volunteer: Gain experience and test your interest by volunteering in related roles, such as at local tourist sites or events. 



Transitioning to a career in hospitality and tourism not only offers the chance to stay active and engaged but also allows you to capitalize on your life-long skills in a meaningful way. With the industry's current skills shortage, your maturity, depth of experience, and developed soft skills position you as a highly valuable candidate. Whether it’s welcoming guests, managing operations, or crafting unforgettable travel experiences, hospitality and tourism can turn your next career chapter into your most rewarding one yet. So why wait? Dive into hospitality and discover how rewarding your next act can be!

Join us online today and start learning new skills.

** If you are located in Victoria, Australia, check out the special offer to access Typsy premium free until September 2024 here**



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Topics: Hospitality career tips, Hospitality insights