A career in hotel management is never boring. No two days are the same, the opportunities are endless and, if you can make it to the top, the perks are impressive.
Take it from Blair Chalmers, who has dedicated his entire working career to the industry.
Chalmers has done everything from portering and waitering to housekeeping, working his way up the ranks since he was 18 until he could claim the title of general manager.
"I was from a small rural town in the Wairarapa. My father was a rural contractor and that's what I was going to do but my mother said 'no, that's never going to happen, you're going to university', and I said 'I'm not cut out for university'.
"In the meantime, because my parents worked I would get dinner ready after school and I quite enjoyed cooking. Knowing this, my mum somehow found this hotel course at Central Institute of Technology.
"To appease her, I applied thinking I'd never get in, I'm a country bumpkin, they won't let me in. I went through the process to keep her happy, then got accepted."
The Diploma in Hotel Catering and Administration had an intake of 47 people a year. In Chalmers' year, 1600 people applied.
"In those days there were no tourism degrees, nothing like that, there was only that polytech, travel agents or hotel receptionists. Otherwise, you had to go to Switzerland, the UK or Australia."
Chalmers said the three-year diploma was hands-on and every year had an industrial release.
He was then picked up as a corporate trainee for what was Quality Inn, an American hotel chain, and did a year-long internship.
Since his training, Chalmers has worked from the sunny Bay of Islands to snowy Queenstown and everywhere in between.
Now the GM of Copthorne in Rotorua, this has been Chalmers' longest stint at a single hotel and he wants to see more young people take advantage of the opportunities available in the hotel industry.
"Covid-19 obviously put a dent in things but the great thing about hotels is that if you have the right work ethic and you're a people's person, you can go far and that is still the case.
"You don't have to be the smartest in the bunch; with the right attitude and a smile you will have a good chance of getting noticed and then we will teach you everything you need to know."
Chalmers recently bowed out as regional hotel spokesman for Tourism Industry Aotearoa as a number of major hotel chains left the industry in favour of a newly established hotel council.
However, he is still committed to elevating the perception of hotel management as a genuine career in New Zealand to the level it's at in Europe.
"At the moment, working in a hotel in New Zealand is what you do to make some money while you're at university. Parents don't want their children going into hotel management, they want their kids to be lawyers, doctors, dentist, builders.
"What they don't understand is, pre-Covid, a career in hotels would allow you to travel all around the world, live anywhere in the world.
"If you work for an international brand, Kiwis are wanted all around the world. Of the people I know who started in hotels when I did, 90 per cent work overseas because they get paid very well.
"Then there are the perks. They get flights home, accommodation, servants, chauffeurs, they're living the dream.''
But not all the perks are gained just from working overseas. Even in New Zealand, the top jobs in hotels often come with phones, cars, houses and a generous salary.
"There are huge benefits to working in the industry."
Chalmers said people also didn't realise what skills were used in the industry.
"You could be a qualified accountant and work for a hotel, you could be an engineer and work for a hotel. It's not all cleaning dishes and making beds.
"We cover all spectrums of the business. The good thing in a hotel is you're never stuck doing one job. if people like a variety in their work, something different every day, hotels is a great career path.
"Every single person I know in hotel senior management who left has been successful in their next endeavour and that's because the skills you learn in hotels are transferrable to almost any other business industry.
"It's a great industry if you're young, I personally believe. Yes, you have to work weekends but there are more opportunities now than there has ever been to get into the industry."
Chalmers said he was confident the hotel industry nationwide would bounce back from the effects of the pandemic but realistically, this wouldn't happen until there was a vaccine and borders reopened.
He said Rotorua was in a strong position to stay afloat with domestic travel because of its location and accessibility from Auckland, the growing mountain biking profile and the tourist attractions on offer.