Hospitality and events management

1. Hospitality: career without borders

A hospitality degree can lead to diverse employment opportunities, at home and overseas, in many different areas including events (sporting, cultural, concerts, exhibitions, etc.), conferences, banqueting, theme parks and attractions, restaurants, catering, resorts (golf, ski, beach, spa, etc.), airlines and cruise lines and many more service-related industries.

Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure all involve people management - it's a busy, fast-paced sector where employees have to flexibly adjust to new challenges in order to address the needs of customers. 

2. Why study hospitality and event management in the Netherlands?

Professional education in hotel management, leisure management and tourism management is often taken far more seriously abroad than it is here in the United Kingdom.

In the Netherlands NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and ZUYD Hotel Management School Maastricht even have their own hotels on campus enabling you to gain hands-on experience of not only working in a hotel but also managing the organisation itself.

Breda University of Applied Science’s in-house training company, Sibelicious, provides students on their hospitality course with practical opportunities to work in several outlets, such as catering, service desk, store room, restaurant, kitchen, Coffee Corner, wine bar and conference events.

3. Employability prospects in the hospitality and events industry

The Travel and Tourism industry outperformed the entire wider economy in 2012, growing faster than other notable industries such as manufacturing, financial services and retail.

Its total contribution comprised 9% of global GDP (US $6.6 trillion) and generated over 260 million jobs - 1 in 11 of the world's total jobs.

The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that the hospitality industry will triple in size by the year 2020, becoming one of the largest industries in the world.

4. Will my degree be recognised?

This is not really an issue with hospitality and tourism degrees. All degrees within the European Union will be recognised. You will be judged on the skills that you have learned so it is most important that your degree gives you the confidence to put your education into practice.

Excellent links to the hospitality industry is key when choosing a course that will lead to a successful career after graduating. It is worth looking at the careers of the teachers, the advisory board at the university and researching alumni.

5. Does it make sense to study hospitality abroad?

Absolutely. Jobs in hospitality and tourism are highly varied but many of them are focused on providing services to international travellers.

International experience is therefore very important. It makes no sense to study hospitality and tourism if you are not prepared to travel for all or part of your education.

6. What grades do I need to get in?

Dutch universities have varying entry requirements but you will probably find the grades you need are similar to what you would need for a British university. There are often no requirements for particular subjects and many will consider a BTEC in travel and tourism as ideal preparation for studying hospitality and tourism abroad.

7. What else should I bear in mind?

While you can study hospitality and tourism in English abroad, it is advisable to learn at least one language if you intend to work in international travel and tourism. Some universities will insist that you learn a foreign language as part of your degree. Very few will insist that you have an A-level or any prior knowledge however.

You will undoubtedly find a second language incredibly useful on a practical level when dealing with guests from all over the world. It will also be an appealing asset to potential employers, enabling you to travel widely and work in culturally diverse environments.

Some thoughts from hospitality students at Dutch universities

Sophie Bray

Keren Hewett

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About Study In Holland is an information service designed to assist British and Irish students in pursuing their university education in the Netherlands.

We have extensive knowledge of English-taught degrees in Holland and we also work with careers advisory services. is owned by A Star Future Ltd and is not affiliated with the Dutch government.