Green Hotel/Resort Ecomanagers
Eco-resort managers work for lodges, hotels, motels, and other businesses that provide accommodations for environmentally conscious travelers. They may also own the resort themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are 52,600 lodging managers employed in the United States. Twenty-eight percent are self-employed, mainly as small hotel and bed-and-breakfast inn owners.
Get a part-time job in the reservation department, or any other department, of an eco-resort. This will give you the opportunity to see how the resort is run and the various types of programs and features that are offered. Talk with the manager and learn more about how he or she got started in the field. Find out what their educational background is and where they worked beforehand. You can also use the Internet to explore eco-resorts and contact managers to see about setting up information interviews by visiting such Web sites as Eco Tropical Resorts (http://www.eco-tropicalresorts.com) and EcoClub Ecotourism Directory (http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism).
Ecomanagers who work for large organizations may advance through the company's ranks to more senior management positions, overseeing more resorts in different regions and managing more departments and employees. Advancement may come from introducing new programs, structures, or functions that improve the resort's operations and elevate it to higher levels of sustainability. Honing management skills, learning more about sustainable practices and operations, and sharing knowledge with staff and customers are other ways ecomanagers advance in their field. Managers may progress by taking on other aspects of the business, such as writing newsletters for the resort's Web site or organizing and leading workshops about eco-resort and environmental issues.
Tips for Entry
Read publications such as Green Lodging News (http://www.greenlodgingnews.com) to learn more about industry trends and potential employers.
Talk to ecomanagers to learn more about job duties, educational requirements, and how to break into the field.
Obtain hands-on experience in the eco-lodging industry to increase your chances of landing a job.