Question Ranjan Business & Management

Leadership Development Skills in the Hospitality Profession

What is the importance of leadership development skills for hospitality professionals?

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Answer Expert #27352

Since hospitality is a luxury – not a basic need that must be satisfied (Gaol and Hutagalung, 2014), the expectations to hospitality professionals set by their customers are generally higher (Michalkó, et al, 2015; Ariffin and Maghzi, 2012). In the context of tourism, when clients pay for organising a trip for them, they pass the responsibility to conduct organisational activities related to the trip on to the team of tourism industry professionals, which has to ensure an outstanding experience for their clients.

Organisational activities require a set of well-developed leadership skills, especially in the changing, highly demanding, complex environments of customer service, tourism and hospitality (Testa and Sipe, 2012). Ability to correctly assess different situations and make the most appropriate decisions that will add value to the customer experience or mitigate the risks is one of the essential leadership skills, requiring devotion and good judgment (Testa and Sipe, 2012). Petkovski (2012) indicates a set of leadership skills valuable for hospitality professionals, such as communication, flexibility, confidence, innovation and creativity. All of these skills are essential for someone who has to perform organisational activities in hospitality.

Particularly in hospitality, the clients tend to “switch off” their own leadership skills, as they paid for the service and expect all of the relevant activities to be done for them, thus, making leadership skills yet more crucial for the hospitality professionals.


Ariffin, A.A.M. Maghzi, A. (2012) A preliminary study on customer expectations of hotel hospitality: Influences of personal and hotel factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management. Volume 31, Issue 1, pp. 191-198

Gaol, L. Hutagalung, F. (2014) The Role of Service in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry. Jakarta: CRC Press

Michalkó, G. Irimiás, A.Timothy, D.J. (2015) Disappointment in tourism: Perspectives on tourism destination management. Tourism Management Perspectives. Volume 16, Issue 10, pp. 85-91

Petkovski, K. (2012) Required skills and leadership characteristics of a modern manager in tourism and hospitality. UTMS Journal of Economics. Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 91-96

Testa, M.R. Sipe, L. (2012) Service-leadership competencies for hospitality and tourism management. International Journal of Hospitality Management. Volume 31, Issue 3, pp. 648-658