The first step

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Empowering the next generation of new hoteliers

There are few industries that provide the entry-level opportunities afforded by hospitality. It’s possible to start out as a front desk agent and, after years of hard work, ultimately become a hotel owner. This voyage, already undertaken many before, is marked by the passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment necessary to do more than just show up for work every day.

The very real people behind these success stories understand hotel ownership isn’t just about managing rooms and reservations; it’s about fostering a culture of excellence, where every team member understands the importance of hospitality as a genuine expression of care. It’s also about a commitment to creating a heaven for travelers – a place where comfort, satisfaction, and personalized service converge. Working in tandem, these two facets of hotel ownership will continue to redefine hospitality, creating not just a place to stay but a destination where dreams are realized and moments are cherished.

hype logoHowever, despite all the promise this industry affords, there’s a constant need to bring in new entrepreneurs, especially in the form of young professionals because they often bring a different kind of energy, creativity, and fresh perspective. As seasoned professionals, we have a responsibility not only to pave the way but to actively involve and empower the next generation. Here are five reasons why bringing new faces into this industry is essential for driving innovation and sustainable growth.

UNLEASHING CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
Young people – especially those coming from overseas and moving to United States – bring with them a boundless well of creativity and innovative thinking. They possess a natural ability to challenge conventional wisdom, break free from traditional paradigms, and envision bold new solutions to age-old problems. By integrating young minds into business, one can infuse organizations with fresh ideas and novel approaches that can revolutionize industries.

ADAPTABILITY AND TECH-SAVVINESS
In today’s fast-paced digital world, adaptability is key to survival. Customer demands and expectations evolve rapidly. Technology has accelerated this change, making people more impatient. Understanding these shifting behaviors is crucial for success. Those raised in the age of rapid technological advancement possess an innate fluency with digital tools and platforms. Their familiarity with emerging technologies can help businesses stay ahead of the curve by embracing digital transformation and leveraging new opportunities in the digital realm.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Bringing young professionals into a business fosters diversity and inclusion in all its forms. Despite being academically qualified, young graduates often lack practical skills required for the hotel industry. Soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and adaptability are essential but not adequately emphasized in formal education. By incorporating individuals from various backgrounds and relative experiences, existing hotel owners cultivate a rich tapestry of ideas and insights. Youth from diverse backgrounds bring unique cultural perspectives, allowing businesses to better connect with global markets and navigate the complexities of an interconnected world.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AND RISK-TAKING
Youthfulness often is synonymous with an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks. Hotel management programs should focus on practical training, internships, and mentorship. Encouraging lifelong learning and adaptability prepares young professionals for real-world challenges. Encouraging young people to pursue entrepreneurship within established organizations or embark on their own ventures cultivates a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. By fostering an environment where calculated risk-taking is encouraged, businesses can unlock untapped potential and drive transformative growth. Hoteliers can bring change by empowering the young generations of employees by fostering the growth mindset of those individuals. The goal is to be proactive vs. reactive.

MENTORSHIP AND LEARNING
As experienced professionals, we have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to impart to the next generation. By serving as mentors and providing opportunities for learning and development, we can equip young talent with the skills, insights, and networks they need to thrive. Mentorship not only benefits the mentee but also enriches the mentor’s own understanding and perspective. “Bringing youth into business isn’t just about securing the future of organizations.

EMBRACING THE FUTURE
Bringing youth into business isn’t just about securing the future of organizations. It’s also about embracing the future itself. By harnessing the energy, creativity, and potential of young minds, we can drive meaningful changes, foster innovation, and build a more inclusive and sustainable business ecosystem for generations to come. Let’s open our doors, listen to their voices, and empower the next generation to lead us into a brighter tomorrow. Together, we can – and must – create a world where we can guide the next generation to success, and where every young person can make their mark on the industry.


maulik pandya

Maulik Pandya serves as an AAHOA South Pacific Ambassador and Young Professional Committee member for AAHOA. He immigrated to U.S. with little more than a dream and a strong work ethic, determination, and hard work, he continues to inspire others with his story and remains dedicated to making a positive impact in the hospitality industry and beyond.


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