Date of release: Monday, July 10, 2017

Dr GebbelsResearch into the hospitality industry has seen a University of Greenwich business expert receive a prestigious accolade.

Dr Maria Gebbels was awarded a Best Paper prize by the Institute of Hospitality at The Council for Hospitality Management Education annual research conference in Aalborg, Denmark.

Her work examined the key characteristics of people who choose hospitality as their profession. "This is of great importance to an industry that is the fourth largest employer in the United Kingdom, employing 4.49 million people," says Dr Gebbels, Lecturer in Hospitality Management within the university's Business School.

"The need for quality employees that consider hospitality a long-term career is evident. The industry has a perceived status as a hard-working and low-paying industry. If employers wish to retain existing talent, as well as attract and recruit the managers of tomorrow, greater knowledge of key traits of individuals who choose hospitality as their career is of great importance."

Her paper proposes a model of understanding hospitality professionals through the notions of self-efficacy (the power of believing in one's own capabilities), career inheritance (career as inherited from one's family) and career commitment (the emotional attachment to one's career).

Ultimately, Dr Gebbels hopes her research will result in better recruitment and retention strategies among employers, as well as greater awareness of career opportunities within the profession.

As a global professional body, the Institute of Hospitality rewards important research that is focused on improving the industry's productivity and operations.

Earlier this year, the University of Greenwich became a member of the Institute of Hospitality, which means that many of its students – and especially those studying for degrees in Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism – now benefit from additional resources and career opportunities.

Dr Gebbels adds: "At Greenwich, we are devoted to helping students move into high-quality, graduate-level jobs. This is further enhanced by our Institute membership, which brings students into contact with hospitality industry professionals through mentoring schemes and networking events."

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Picture: Dr Gebbels receives her award from Paul Barron, Chair for The Council for Hospitality Management Education.