Industry Update
Opinion Article23 February 2021

HSMAI Perspective: Problems With The Pipeline

By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

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I've written before about the severe underrepresentation of Black professionals across the executive level in the hospitality industry — including in senior sales, marketing, and revenue optimization positions. There are many different reasons for this, but new research by the HSMAI Foundation highlights a big one: We're not investing sufficiently in the talent pipeline.


In a review of undergraduate hospitality programs at the 19 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) offering them, we found that enrollment and graduation rates have been trending downward for at least the last five years:

Our research also found that sales, marketing, and revenue management are not a part of the core curriculum at most HBCU hospitality programs — and, except for marketing classes, aren't offered in any capacity at many of them:

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