Top 12 Hospitality and Tourism Soft Skills 2022

Updated on 10/18/2022


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Soft skills are just as critical as hard skills in the tourism business. Technical skills and knowledge are your hard skills. 
They're the easy part to learn and train for. But your soft tourism skills are the interpersonal skills that make you good at working with people.

They're harder to learn and prepare for, but they're essential for success in the tourism industry. While your hard skills will get you hired, your soft skills will make or break your career in hospitality and tourism. 

To succeed in this industry, you need these 12 soft skills. 

Let's dive in!

  1. Leadership
  2. Teamwork
  3. Problem-solving
  4. Flexibility
  5. Time Management
  6. Interpersonal Skills
  7. Cultural Awareness
  8. Communication
  9. Problem-solving
  10. Creativity
  11. Emotional Intelligence
  12. Work Ethic


1. Leadership

The tourism business sometimes ignores leadership. However, this industry requires it. A good leader can motivate and inspire others to achieve their goals. Leaders in the tourism business need to be able to think on their feet and adapt to changes quickly.

It is through experience that one develops leadership skills. However, there are also many courses and workshops available that can help you build your leadership skills.

2. Teamwork

The hospitality and tourism industries are all about teamwork. Whether working in a restaurant, hotel, or tour company, you'll need to work well with others. Having good communication skills, being a good team player, and being able to resolve conflict are all part of this.

3. Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills are essential in any business. No matter your position, you will likely encounter some problems you will need to solve. Whether it's a customer complaint or a staff issue, quickly and effectively solving problems is essential.

Advice on becoming a more effective problem solver;

  • Use your imagination: Don't settle for the first thing that pops into your head when you need a solution to an issue. Take some time to brainstorm different possible answers.
  • Be proactive: If you see potential problems on the horizon, take action to prevent them from occurring.
  • Keeping calm is crucial during a problematic situation. If you can get your thoughts together, you can make better choices.

4. Flexibility

Employers in the hotel and tourist sector value personnel who can adapt to changing circumstances. By doing so, they can adjust to changes in the workplace and be open to new ideas.

In addition to handling customer inquiries and requests professionally, flexible employees can handle different roles within the organization. 

They can also maintain composure and work well under pressure in challenging situations. Flexible employees are an asset to any organization, and those who possess this quality should highlight it when applying for jobs in the tourism industry.

5. Time Management

In hospitality and tourism, soft skills and time management is critical. Employees must be able to juggle multiple tasks and stay organized to provide excellent customer service.

These suggestions will help you make the best use of your time in this field:

  • Employees should prioritize the importance and deadline of each task. Their schedule will be easier to follow, and last-minute rushing will be prevented.
  • Make a schedule – A daily or weekly schedule can help employees stay organized and avoid overlapping tasks. 
  • Throughout the day, take breaks to avoid burnout. It will refresh employees and allow them to return to their tasks with fresh energy.
  • Delegate when possible – If other team members can handle specific tasks, delegate them instead of trying to do everything yourself. Now that you have more time, you may devote yourself to more in-depth research.

6. Interpersonal Skills

Having interpersonal skills means being able to interact with others. That can include communication and active listening to problem-solving and conflict resolution. Strong interpersonal skills are essential in the hospitality and tourism industries. 

Active listening is a critical interpersonal skill for anyone in the tourism industry. It involves paying attention to what others say, both verbally and non-verbally, to understand them better.

It's also essential to give your full attention to someone, even when you're tired or distracted. Problem-solving is another essential interpersonal skill for tourism workers. 

Whether you're dealing with a dissatisfied customer or trying to find a way to reduce costs without impacting service levels, being able to identify problems and come up with creative solutions is vital.

The hospitality and tourism industries require conflict resolution skills as well. With so many different people coming into contact daily, there will inevitably be some conflict from time to time. 

7. Cultural Awareness

When working in tourism, you must be aware of the different cultures you encounter. Cultural awareness can make your guests' stay more memorable and enjoyable. 


  • Learn about the different cultures that you will encounter. That can include reading about the culture, talking to someone from the culture, or taking a trip to the country or region.
  • Be respectful of all cultures. It includes being respectful of customs, beliefs, and traditions. Communicate effectively with guests from different cultures. That may require learning some key phrases in their language or using nonverbal communication.
  • Provide culturally relevant services and amenities. That could include offering unique dietary options, providing information about local attractions, or having staff members who speak multiple languages.

8. Communication

Humans need communication to survive, and hospitality and tourism rely heavily on it. Communication dominates in soft tourism skills. Nonverbal communication is any form that does not use words, such as body language, gestures, or facial expressions. 

Written communication includes emails, letters, reports, and instructions. Electronic communication includes social media, text messaging, and video conferencing.

Effective communication requires both sender and receiver to be clear about the message. For the message to be understood correctly, active listening is also needed. 

Hospitality and tourism businesses must ensure that their employees have strong communication skills to provide excellent customer service.

9. Problem-solving

In tourism, soft skills and problem-solving is a crucial skills. Whether you're dealing with a customer complaint or an operational issue, quickly and effectively solving problems is essential to maintaining a positive reputation and delivering excellent customer service. 

A few tips are:

  • Stay calm: This can be difficult when dealing with an unhappy customer or a stressful situation, but it's essential to remain calm and collected. Take a big breath—there is a solution.
  • It's essential to give careful attention to what a person is saying. By understanding the issue, you will be able to find a solution more quickly.
  • Think creatively: Don't just go for the obvious solution. Sometimes, a better result might be attained by using a different approach.
  • Be decisive: Once you've identified a potential solution, don't hesitate. Act quickly to implement it and see if it works.

You'll improve your problem-solving skills in hospitality and tourism situations. Remember to stay calm, listen, think creatively, and be decisive, and you'll be able to handle whatever challenges come your way.

10. Creativity

Creative problem-solving is essential in soft tourism skills. Whether coming up with new ideas for marketing campaigns or thinking of ways to improve the customer experience, being creative can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Of course, creativity isn't just about coming up with ideas – it's also about putting those ideas into action. So, if you're working in hospitality or tourism, don't be afraid to think outside the box and develop new ways to do things.

Hospitality and tourism need emotional intelligence qualities like:

  • Being able to remain calm under pressure. 
  • Dealing with complex customer service situations professionally and politely.
  • Being adaptable and flexible, especially when dealing with last-minute changes or unexpected events

11. Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is crucial in the hotel and tourist sectors. They want to know that you'll be a team player – someone willing to help wherever needed and pitch in when things get busy. If you can show that you have a strong work ethic, it will go a long way in helping you succeed in this industry.

If you can show that you have a strong work ethic, it will go a long way in helping you succeed in this industry.

12. Last Thoughts

To succeed in the tourism business, it is essential to develop various tourism soft skills. In addition to setting yourself apart from the competition, these abilities will help you provide exceptional service to your clients. With the right mix of hard and soft skills, you can build a successful career in hospitality and tourism.

Commonly Asked Questions about Tourism Soft Skills

A. Are Communication Skills Required for The Tourism Industry?
Certain entry-level professions in the tourist business do not need strong communication skills. Still, any successful candidate will require these abilities if they want to progress in their career. 

Good communication skills can help you better understand customer needs and find ways to solve problems. 

What Is the Average Salary for A Beginner In The Tourism Industry?
The average salary for a beginner in the tourism industry is around $30,000 annually. Companies and positions may vary in this regard. 

For example, hotels' entry-level customer service representatives typically start at $23,000 annually. Some places, such as tour guides, may have a higher starting salary. 

Communication skills are essential in the tourism industry, as they can help you build relationships with customers and provide them with excellent customer service.


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