The Complete Guide to Studying Hospitality & Tourism Management in Malaysia

What does studying hospitality and tourism mean? Learn all about the programme including institutions offering it, job prospects and more with this guide.


If you thought hospitality has something to do with hospitals, you’re terribly wrong!

This is an industry where service is of the utmost importance and if helping others is one of your strong suits, this could be your dream career!

This guide will take you through all you need to know about studying Hospitality and Tourism Management in Malaysia, as well as the benefits and career prospects, should you decide to pursue this degree.

City University

Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons)

#1. The Basics of Hospitality & Tourism

a) What is Hospitality & Tourism?

hospitality and tourism management - What is Hospitality-v2

Hospitality and tourism is the art of delivering good customer experience to consumers in sectors like travel, accommodation, food and beverage, and general event management.

While this may sound like an easy task, there are a lot of aspects to the hospitality and tourism industry that you may not be aware of.

You encounter people who work in the hospitality and tourism industry whenever you walk into a hotel, a restaurant or even events like a concert. They are responsible for delivering the good service you come to expect as a consumer, e.g. they make sure the food you order at a restaurant tastes great, or that your hotel room is clean and tidy before you arrive.

You may even encounter hospitality and tourism people when you travel, as they often work in tour and travel related companies who are in charge of planning your holiday tours to perfection!

b) What Are the Various Fields of Hospitality & Tourism?

hospitality and tourism management - Various Fields

There are various disciplines under the branch of hospitality and tourism. Here are some of the main areas that you may be exposed to in a Hospitality & Tourism course.

Field What It Is All About
Food Service Management Relates to operations for a Food and Beverage (F&B) business, involving areas such as planning and purchasing supplies, food hygiene and production, and food service delivery.
Event Management Involves planning, managing and executing large scale events, such as festivals, conferences, ceremonies, formal parties, concerts & conventions.
Accommodation & Hospitality Management Relates to the handling of accommodation establishments, such as hotels and resorts. It covers areas such as reservation, housekeeping and guest service.
Tour & Travel Management Relates to the management of travel and tour industries, such as airline and cruise, as well as holiday tours.

As part of your degree, you may specialise in one of these areas, which will allow you to work in various industries once you graduate.

#2. Studying a Hospitality & Tourism Course

a) Entry Requirements & Qualifications

In order to pursue a degree in Hospitality & Tourism, you will generally need to meet the minimum entry requirements set for respective qualifications.

(i) Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism

To pursue a Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism, the general minimum entry requirements are:

  • SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3 credits, including a pass in Bahasa Malaysia and History.

In general, a Hospitality & Tourism Diploma is 2 - 2.5 years long, covering the understanding of hospitality and tourism operations as well as learning the basics of providing flawless service.

Upon completion of your Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism course, you can choose to enter the working world or continue your studies to a relevant Hospitality & Tourism Degree.

(ii) Degree in Hospitality & Tourism

A Hospitality & Tourism Degree is usually 3 years long.

You will be equipped with the necessary technical and management skills required for the growing hospitality and tourism industry. Make sure you try to go for as many practical opportunities as you can too!

Entry requirements may vary depending on university, so make sure you do your research!

b) How Does Your Education Pathway Look Like?


Once you’ve completed your SPM or equivalent, you can choose to take a Pre-University course (e.g. A-Level, STPM, AUSMAT, etc) or a Foundation in Arts course.

You can also choose to pursue a Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism.

Upon completion of a qualification above, you can then proceed to pursue your Degree in Hospitality & Tourism.

c) What Will You Study in a Hospitality & Tourism Degree?

In a Hospitality & Tourism degree, you will be taught various subjects in order for you to be able to manage the different aspects of service and operations in a hospitality industry.

Depending on your area of specialisation, here are some of the topics that you may learn:

  • Food & Beverage Management
  • Housekeeping Management
  • Business Communication
  • Principles of Accounting & Marketing
  • Hospitality and Tourism Law
  • Financial Management for Hospitality & Tourism
  • Kitchen and Front Office Operations and Management

Hospitality & Tourism degrees usually include a semester where you undergo compulsory internship or practical training at top establishments, such as hotels & fine dining restaurants.


Internships are a great way to give you a head start in your career in hospitality! Do well and shine, and you may find yourself with a job offer even before you graduate!

#3. Why Should You Study Hospitality & Tourism?

hospitality and tourism management - Why Study Hospitality

The field of hospitality and tourism can be tremendously fun and rewarding, especially if you love interacting with lots of people! Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider pursuing the field of hospitality and tourism.

(a) You won’t be working out of a cubicle

Working in this industry will mean that your average work day will never be filled with mundane and repetitive tasks. You will be constantly facing new problems and challenges, and each day will be different from the next. In fact, one of the best parts of this industry is that you get to meet new people all the time!

City University

Diploma in Hotel Management

Focuses on hands-on experience through various curricular activities and hands-on experience

(b) Job satisfaction is an everyday reward

In this industry, a main part of your job is keeping customers happy and helping them out as best as you can. Assisting people in having fun, eating well and enjoying their leisure time can be extremely rewarding, and positive feedback from your customers can go a long way in adding to job satisfaction!

(c) It’s a growing industry

With cheaper airfares, online booking tools and overall growing worldwide tourism, the prospects for this industry is only going to get bigger!

This is being reflected in the tourism sector being identified as one of the key economic areas (NKEA) to drive our nation's economic growth and the steadily growing number of tourist arrivals over the years.

As you progress in your career, you may find that you will have the chance to work at various locations around the world.

Fun Fact: The Guinness World Records title holder for the largest hotel in the world is First World Hotel (Malaysia) with 7,351 operational rooms, at Resorts World Genting!

City University

Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons)

#4. What Skills Do You Need for a Hospitality & Tourism Course?

hospitality and tourism management - Key Skills

Here are some of the key qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to do well in a Hospitality & Tourism course.

(a) A huge amount of patience

A large part of this industry involves dealing face-to-face with customers and keeping them satisfied. As such, patience is a necessary attribute to have, since customers may be extremely demanding at times and can't seem to make up their mind!

(b) The ability to work under stress (lots of it!)

If there is ever a day where everything runs smoothly, then something’s not right! In this industry, problems are going to occur constantly throughout the day, and it is up to you to tackle it to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you give up or break down, the entire operation will fall like dominos, so it’s up to you to keep everything in check.

(c) A keen eye for detail

It’s the little things that make a customer’s experience extraordinary. To do that, you have to make sure that every little detail is taken care of, from how the flowers are placed to making sure every plate is squeaky clean. People who excel in this industry are usually the ones who are able to attend to each and every detail and are willing to go the extra mile!

(d) Good language & communication skills

In this industry, you will be meeting and talking to A LOT of people. You need to have fluent and concise language skills in order to convey your message clearly. How you speak will reflect on the standards of your establishment, so make sure your language skills are up to scratch!

Don’t worry if you haven't mastered all these skills yet. A course in Hospitality & Tourism will surely help you develop these skills! Just make sure you're prepared for what's ahead.

#5. What Career Options Do You Have with a Hospitality & Tourism Degree?

Completing a degree in Hospitality & Tourism will prepare you for a career in various sectors, including food & beverage, event management, hotels & resorts and travel.

Here are some jobs that are related to Hospitality & Tourism.

  • Catering Manager
  • Cost Control Manager
  • Travel Destination Brand Manager
  • Entertainment Manager
  • Event Planner
  • Food & Beverage Manager
  • Food Service Manager
  • Hotel Manager
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Training Manager
  • Travel Consultant

City University

Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons)

#6. Where Can You Study Hospitality & Tourism in Malaysia?

Here are some of the most popular universities for Hospitality & Tourism in Malaysia.

Where else can you study Hospitality and Tourism in Malaysia? Check out our comprehensive comparison table for Hospitality and Tourism degrees! You can also compare institutions for Foundation in Business.