This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Hotel/motel managers plan, organise and control the operation of a hotel, motel or hostel, including management of staff.
Hotel managers usually earn
$38K-$200K per year
Motel managers usually earn
$40K-$90K per year
Source: Tourism Industry Association, 'Annual Salary Survey', 2015.
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
Pay for hotel/motel managers varies, depending on experience, location and the type and size of establishment they work in.
- Hotel managers usually start on about $38,000, going up to about $200,000 a year.
- Motel managers usually earn between $40,000 and $90,000.
- Some hotel/motel managers also get on-site accommodation as part of their pay package.
Source: Tourism Industry Association, 'Annual Salary Survey', 2015.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Hotel/motel managers may do or oversee some or all of the following tasks:
- hire, train and manage staff and teams of people (especially in larger hotels)
- greet customers and check them in for their stay
- take client bookings for rooms and on local tours and attractions
- manage the hotel/motel website
- plan budgets and keep accounts
- ensure that health and safety requirements are met
- organise and co-ordinate events
- market the establishment.
Hotel/motel managers of smaller establishments may also do or oversee the following tasks:
- serve customers food and beverages
- cook or provide meals
- stock-take, order and price liquor and food
- uphold liquor laws, such as making sure there are no under-age drinkers on the premises
- clean rooms and grounds and do laundry.
Skills and knowledge
Hotel/motel managers need to have:
- skill in staff management
- basic computer skills
- knowledge of the area they work in, including local tourist attractions and services
- knowledge of health and safety regulations
- knowledge of various types of liquor and liquor licensing laws
- business skills, including accounting and budgeting
- basic knowledge of building maintenance.
- usually work long and irregular hours including weekends, evenings and most public holidays
- usually work indoors, from an office or lobby
- may live on site and be on call
- may need to travel to other areas to carry out promotional activities.
What's the job really like?
Every guest is special
Trevor Blockley has hosted Prince Charles and Princess Diana during his 20 years in hotel management, but says every guest is special. "There is no such thing as a VIP" is Trevor's philosophy, "everyone is memorable."
Jack of all trades
As the person in charge of 75 staff and the day-to-day running of a hotel in Wanaka, Trevor manages or helps out in all areas of the hotel. This includes everything from organising conferences and weddings to planning budgets and ordering hotel supplies.
Fun job despite a 60-hour week
One of Trevor's greatest challenges is trying to squeeze an 80-hour job into a 40-hour week. He seldom manages it, saying he usually works closer to 60 hours.
However, he is unlikely to give up his job any time soon. "There isn't anything I've enjoyed as much as my job. My wife and I make more lifelong friends from the guests than from our next-door neighbours!"
There are no specific entry requirements to become a hotel/motel manager.
However there are some preferred requirements, especially in larger establishments, such as:
- a Bachelor's degree in business studies, hotel management and/or hospitality management, or another related qualification such as a marketing degree
- a National Diploma in Hospitality – Operational Management (Level 5).
If the premises are licensed to sell alcohol, the hotel/motel manager must be at least 20 years old and hold a manager's licence. To apply for this, you must hold a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ), which is administered by ServiceIQ.
A driver's licence is also preferred, as hotel/motel managers may need to pick up necessary items or drive home intoxicated people as part of their host responsibility.
- ServiceIQ website - information on the Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ)
- New Zealand Transport Authority website - information on getting a driver's licence
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a hotel/motel manager. However, useful subjects include English, accounting and economics.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training.
Hotel/motel managers need to:
- have excellent people and customer service skills
- be able to relate to people from a range of cultures
- be able to accept criticism
- have good leadership skills
- have decision-making and problem-solving skills
- be able to remain calm in emergencies.
Useful experience for hotel/motel managers includes:
- work in the hospitality or tourism industries
- work in sales and marketing
- any work requiring good communication skills.
Hotel/motel managers often gain supervisory or management experience in the hotel industry by working in roles such as food and beverage manager or executive housekeeper.
Hotel/motel managers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, as they spend a large part of the day on their feet. They also need to have a neat and tidy appearance.
Find out more about training
- Service IQ
- (04) 385 9563 - www.serviceiq.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for hotel/motel managers expected to increase
The demand for hotel/motel managers is expected to increase due to the growing tourism industry in New Zealand. The number of people staying in hotels and motels has increased steadily over the past two years and is likely to continue to grow. With the rebuild in Canterbury, hotels and motels are reopening in Christchurch and this is creating demand for manager positions.
Part-time and seasonal opportunities often available
You have a greater chance of finding a job as a hotel/motel manager if you are prepared to take on short-term positions and move around to find work.
Chances of getting work could be higher at certain times of the year and in particular locations. For example, opportunities in Coromandel may increase over summer due to the higher visitor numbers.
Types of employers varied
Hotel/motel managers may work for:
- motels and lodges
- bars, pubs and nightclubs.
- Attfield, S, hotel sector manager, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Tourism Research and Data', 20 May 2016, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- Southee, J, motel owner, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Accommodation Survey', April 2016, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand, 'International Travel and Migration', April 2016, (www.stats.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
With experience, hotel/motel managers can progress into other management roles in the hospitality industry or run their own business.
Hotel/motel managers may also specialise in the following areas:
- Bar Manager
- Bar managers are responsible for the running of a pub or tavern and ensure that customers receive good service.
- Hostel Manager
- Hostel managers supervise the running of hostels, backpackers, boarding houses or guest houses.
- Hotel Manager
- Hotel managers plan, organise and control the operation of a hotel. Hotel operational managers oversee the day-to-day running of a hotel, while hotel general managers also make long-term plans for the hotel.
- Motel Manager
- Motel managers own and operate motels.
Last updated 20 October 2016