Hotel/Motel Manager Kaiwhakahaere Hōtera/Mōtera

Hotel/motel managers plan, organise and control the operation of a hotel, motel or hostel, including management of staff.

Hotel/motel managers may do or oversee some or all of the following tasks:

  • hire, train and manage staff and teams of people (especially in larger hotels)
  • greet customers and check them in for their stay
  • take client bookings for rooms and on local tours and attractions
  • manage the hotel/motel website 
  • plan budgets and keep accounts
  • ensure that health and safety requirements are met
  • organise and co-ordinate events
  • market the establishment.

Hotel/motel managers of smaller establishments may also do or oversee the following tasks:

  • serve customers food and beverages
  • cook or provide meals
  • stock-take, order and price liquor and food
  • uphold liquor laws, such as making sure there are no under-age drinkers on the premises
  • clean rooms and grounds and do laundry.

Physical Requirements

Hotel/motel managers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, as they spend a large part of the day on their feet. They also need to have a neat and tidy appearance.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for hotel/motel managers includes:

  • work in the hospitality or tourism industries
  • work in sales and marketing
  • any work requiring good communication skills.

Hotel/motel managers often gain supervisory or management experience in the hotel industry by working in roles such as food and beverage manager or executive housekeeper.

Personal Qualities

Hotel/motel managers need to:

  • have excellent people and customer service skills
  • be able to relate to people from a range of cultures
  • be able to accept criticism
  • have good leadership skills
  • have decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • be able to remain calm in emergencies.


Hotel/motel managers need to have:

  • skill in staff management
  • basic computer skills
  • knowledge of the area they work in, including local tourist attractions and services
  • knowledge of health and safety regulations
  • knowledge of various types of liquor and liquor licensing laws
  • business skills, including accounting and budgeting
  • basic knowledge of building maintenance.


Hotel/motel managers:

  • usually work long and irregular hours including weekends, evenings and most public holidays
  • usually work indoors, from an office or lobby
  • may live on site and be on call
  • may need to travel to other areas to carry out promotional activities.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a hotel/motel manager. However, useful subjects include English, accounting and economics.

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training.

Hotel/Motel Managers can earn around $60K-$80K per year.

Pay for hotel/motel managers varies depending on experience, location and the type and size of establishment they work in.

  • Motel managers usually earn between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.
  • Hotel managers usually earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.

Some hotel/motel managers also receive accommodation on-site.

Source: research; and Seek, 2023.

With experience, hotel/motel managers can progress into other management roles in the hospitality industry or run their own business.

Hotel/motel managers may also specialise in the following areas:

Bar Manager
Bar managers are responsible for the running of a pub or tavern and ensure that customers receive good service.
Hostel Manager
Hostel managers supervise the running of hostels, backpackers, boarding houses or guest houses.
Hotel Manager
Hotel managers plan, organise and control the operation of a hotel. Hotel operational managers oversee the day-to-day running of a hotel, while hotel general managers also make long-term plans for the hotel.
Motel Manager
Motel managers own and operate motels.

Years Of Training

There are no specific entry requirements to become a hotel/motel manager. 

However there are some preferred requirements, especially in larger establishments, such as:

  • a Bachelor's degree in business studies, hotel management and/or hospitality management, or another related qualification such as a marketing degree
  • a National Diploma in Hospitality – Operational Management (Level 5).

Host responsibility

If the premises are licensed to sell alcohol, the hotel/motel manager must be at least 20 years old and hold a manager's licence. To apply for this, you must hold a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ), which is administered by ServiceIQ.

A driver's licence is also preferred, as hotel/motel managers may need to pick up necessary items or drive home intoxicated people as part of their host responsibility.

Hotel/Motel Manager