Turn Your Passion for Travel into a Rewarding Career

According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, the need for hospitality and tourism is increasing steadily. A food travel industry report published by the World Food Travel Association identified that “96% of expert respondents have a positive outlook about the growth of the food travel industry in the next two years”. The Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Association (selectuse.org), reported that the US travel and tourism industry generated over $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2017, supporting 7.8 million jobs in the US.

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Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Career Success Starts with a College Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.

Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.

*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce

People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average

more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma

Popular Hospitality & Tourism Careers

Meeting/Event Planner

National Median Annual Salary
18% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Event Coordinators in Kentucky:
University of Kentucky
Red Bird Global
ASM Global
Bachelor's typically required for entry-level positions

Food Service Manager

National Median Annual Salary
10% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Food Service Manager in Kentucky:
Omni Hotels and Resorts
Derby City Gaming
Hilton Garden Inn
Bachelor's typically required for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

Other Global Hospitality & Tourism Careers

  • Conference event/services manager
  • Culinary food tour director
  • Food service manager
  • Lodging manager
  • Attractions supervisor
  • Cruise director
  • Director of catering
  • Ecotourism
  • Winery/microbrewery tourism

EKU Hospitality Program in the Workforce

Challenges Create Opportunities: Travel and Hospitality in a Post-Pandemic World

The hospitality and tourism industry were negatively impacted by Covid and the pandemic. Although the industry took a hit hospitality and travel experts agree that travel and tourism will return and may even exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Despite the challenges, the pandemic has given the industry an opportunity to evolve and provide better tourism products and experiences. Many businesses took the opportunity to create a better product and experience for future travelers during the time when there weren’t many travelers or guests. It gave the industry time to revisit and improve their strategies. Leading to a better overall experience for post-pandemic travelers. 

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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