Hotel Recreation Director: Career & Education Info

Sep 10, 2019

Working as a hotel recreation director requires some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Hotel recreation directors plan and manage entertainment activities for guests. A bachelor's degree in hospitality or tourism management is usually required for this job. Here are some details about what hotel recreation directors do, as well as the employment outlook and salary information for this career.

Essential Information

Degree programs in recreation, parks and tourism management can prepare students for careers in recreational and leisure activities planning. Graduates might work for theme parks, sports complexes, cruise lines, summer camps, resorts and hotels. Hotel recreation directors are lodging managers who focus specifically on providing entertainment and recreation activities for hotel or resort guests. Such professionals usually hold a bachelor's degree in a field related to hospitality.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in recreation, parks and tourism management, hospitality management or business
Median Salary (2018) $53,390 (for all lodging managers)*
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 1% growth (for all lodging managers)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description and Duties

Managers at hotels, resorts and other lodging establishments might oversee the operations of the entire facility, or they might specialize in one area of customer service and amenities offerings. Hotel recreation directors oversee the recreational and entertainment options available to guests, making sure the facilities are maintained, accessible and adequately staffed. They hire, train and oversee employees to provide sufficient guest service and supervision. Hotel recreation directors also plan activities and entertainment, adjusting offerings based on guest interest and feedback.

Education Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the education requirements for hotel managers generally depend on the size of the lodging establishment and the variety of guest services offered. Full-service hotels with a wider range of amenities typically require managers to hold at least a bachelor's degree, and many employers prefer prospective managers to have experience in the hospitality industry. Possible degree programs for hotel recreation directors include recreation, parks and tourism management, hospitality management or business (

Degree programs in recreation, parks and tourism management are designed to combine management, administration and business concerns with topics in recreation and leisure. Students learn the skills necessary to oversee recreation facilities and provide guest services. Coursework usually includes tourism and travel, hospitality and recreation administration, commercial recreation, leisure services, event planning, conference planning and legal issues in recreation. These degree programs also include or require the completion of a recreation internship at a resort, hotel, amusement park, outdoor recreation facility or regional tourist attraction.

Career Outlook

The BLS projects little or no change in employment growth a rate of 1% - for all lodging managers in the 2018-2028 decade. Growth is expected to be limited at many hotels, with certain specialized management positions being eliminated. As such, prospective hotel recreation directors might want to consider employment at hotels, casinos, resorts and convention centers with the largest variety of leisure services. The median salary for lodging managers in general was $53,390 as of 2018, the BLS stated.

Hotel recreation directors are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree and to have studied management, tourism, recreation and business. They manage staff, oversee facilities and plan guest services and activities at hotels and resorts. Lodging managers, including hotel recreation directors, are expected to see little growth of job opportunities in the field at a rate of 1% through the year 2028.

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