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Hospitality is a broad and diverse industry. Most commonly hospitality refers to working in a hotel or restaurant, but it can also include amusement parks, retirement centers, country clubs, resorts, ski lodge, convention centers, cruise lines, airlines, stadiums, casinos, or anywhere else where clients are hosted. Anywhere in the world that people travel to or gather for leisure is a hub of Hospitality and Tourism. And as a perk, the locations people want to visit are also great places to live!

So, what exactly does hospitality consist of? Quite literally, it means “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Or, relating to or denoting the business of housing or entertaining visitors.” Hospitality is the business of hosting and entertaining guests, with tourism expanding that definition to specify that these are out-of-town guests who are just visiting.

Within each separate business entity in the hospitality realm are separate and distinct roles:

  • Restaurants have the cooks, servers, hosts, bartenders, and managers
  • In hotels, there are the concierge, booking manager, cleaning staff, and restaurant folks.
  • A resort that has a spa or activities will need estheticians, masseuses, surf/ski/etc instructors, and appropriate management.
  • Airlines have the flight attendants, airport lounge staff, and booking agents all engaged as hospitality and tourism agents for the companies.
  • Locations like stadiums and convention centers would focus more on event management style hospitality, tailoring the set-up of the location to the needs of the contracted event, incorporating ushers, lights/sound technicians, ticketing agents, in addition to concessions workers.
  • Cruise lines (and resorts) may also have childcare services and musical/theatrical performances to organize and put on.
  • For businesses catering to an international clientele, there must also be translators or multilingual employees.

All these roles are happening simultaneously from Hawaii to the Alps, Australia to Denmark, Madagascar to Seoul, and everywhere in the world. With so many opportunities available around the world involving so many different types of work, a degree in Hospitality Management can help provide some clarity and structure amidst the infinite possibilities. Our compilation of the 30 Best Online Hospitality Management Degrees narrows the field and helps sift through the best options available.

The methodology of the list was composed by ranked based on cost per credit hour, average early salary after graduation, student to faculty ratio, and graduation rates. All the data was pulled from the National Center for Education Statistics, payscale.com, and the school websites.

Starting your path to a degree in Hospitality Management is the first step in a stimulating career that could take you anywhere in the world! Whether you want to do event planning, lead tours, and excursions, manage bookings, or learn any of the other roles listed above, these Top 30 Online Hospitality Management Programs will prepare you to thrive.


25 Best Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management

15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management

10 Fastest Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management

10 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management