SOFT SKILLS AS KEY COMPETENCIES IN HOSPITALITY HIGHER EDUCATION: MATCHING DEMAND AND SUPPLY
This study seeks to identify the competencies perceived as essential for hospitality industry leaders. Additionally, it offers some reflections upon hospitality management higher education and examines the structure of Portuguese undergraduate degrees in order to discuss whether the current educational offer matches specific industry demand.
Both the literature review and the results of a survey with a sample of hoteliers indicate that soft skills are consistently rated as being the most important to effective performance in the field. On the other hand, an assessment of the undergraduate hospitality management programmes currently on offer in Portugal show a deficit in this area. Some recommendations are presented to redress the evident discrepancies between educational programme content and perceived industry needs. In particular the study proposes the adoption and tutelage of student by industry managers, here referred to as „adopting a student?.
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