There are estimated to be around 5,000 new jobs in hospitality and tourism in our local area by 2018.  Many employers will help you get certificates or additional training to help advance your skills and your career.

23,429 Jobs

Estimated number of total hospitality and tourism jobs in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties

  • In Asheville alone, there are more than 100 independent restaurants across 29 culinary tastes.
  • There are more than 10 million visitors each year to our area. 1.4 million people visit the Biltmore Estate.
  • This region has more than 1700 square miles of state and national forest land, that bring those people to the area, including Pisgah, Dupont, and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
  • Asheville has over 9,200 hotel rooms with ongoing hotel construction being added each year. Over 25 hotels have been constructed in the region over the last decade.
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park add $1.8 billion to the local economy.
  • Tourism Development Authorities in the four-county region invest lodging tax revenue to attract visitors to the region, expanding the customer base, and providing free sales and marketing to thousands of tourism-related businesses.
  • Pisgah View State Park will be the first state park in Buncombe County with over 1,600 acres. Our region is proximate to over 1 million acres of public lands including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, State Parks and other protected recreational lands.
  • 72.5% of local restaurant, lodging & hospitality services employers expect to grow their workforce over the next three years.
  • The most job openings are projected to be for Food Preparation Staff, Wait/Banquet Staff, Guest Services Staff, Dishwasher/Bus Persons, and Culinary Specialist/Chef.
  • Madison County’s historic county jail (constructed in 1905) in Marshall has been renovated into a boutique hotel.
  • Asheville ranked as #8 best food city in the nation by Travel + Leisure and the #10 best food destination in the United States by Tripadvisor ahead of Chicago, Seattle and other cities known for thriving food scenes.
  • Southern Living ranked Asheville as the #3 best city in the South. Hendersonville ranked as the #12 best small town in the South. Brevard was ranked as one of the South’s best mountain towns.

Career Pathways

In the hospitality and tourism industry, you can move from one pathway to another as you advance from entry-level all the way to management.  There are a diverse range of job opportunities available from over 50 craft breweries, boutique hotels, award winning restaurants and outdoor recreation.

Hospitality & Tourism Careers

Read about career job descriptions, find average wages and skills needed.

Career Success Stories

Read a few stories of people who’ve found opportunities for growth and on-the-job training.

Yolanda Strong

Production Shift Manager - Gaia Herbs, Brevard

Ryan Kaufman

Fly Fishing Guide - Headwater Outfitters

Toni Williams

Manager: Stable Cafe - Biltmore Estate
Hospitality Careers

Elizabeth Manley

Director of Revenue Management - The Omni Grove Park Inn

Layton Parker

General Manager / Owner, Hampton Inn - Brevard NC
Guest Service Operations

Robert Foster

Director of Hotel Operations, Biltmore Farms Hotels

Heather Hicks

Manager, Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Housekeeping and Maintenance Operations

Americo Mejia Diaz

Director of Housekeeping, Biltmore Farms Hotels

Current Job Openings

Find jobs and career employment opportunities near you.

Earn & Learn Programs

Free college and a paycheck!

Many employers will provide reimbursement for tuition, and will often pay for you to get certificates and accreditation to help advance your career. Education can include both formal education at a community college and a four-year university but it includes on the job training as well.

Visit an NC Works Career Center near you to connect with local resources.