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Guest Relations Manager Career Guide

How To Become a Guest Relations Manager

In a nutshell, a guest relations manager—also frequently referred to as a guest relation coordinator or guest relation specialist—is tasked with a wide variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Managing guests’ experiences
  • Greeting and checking in guests as they arrive
  • Ensuring they have a pleasant experience
  • Arranging reservations
  • Handling complaints as they arise

Guest relations managers primarily work for hotels, but they can work in any industry where guest experiences are at the top of the list, including cruise ships, theme parks, and spas.

If you have excellent customer service skills and an intuitive knack for keeping guests happy, a career as a guest relations manager might be for you.

professional man and woman HR

What Is a Guest Relations Manager?

Guest relations managers are often the first point of contact when guests arrive at a hotel, so it’s essential to make a great first impression and help clients feel comfortable during their stay. For this reason, guest relations managers need a commitment to customer service, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to manage others, and the ability to uphold a hotel’s image.

What Does a Guest Relations Manager Do?

Guest relations managers are tasked with a wide variety of duties. Some, but not all, of these duties include:

  • Greeting clients: Greeting guests as they arrive makes a great first impression and helps them feel more at home.
  • Coordinating check-ins and check-outs: Guest relations managers help the front desk operate smoothly to ensure timely check-ins and check-outs. They also coordinate luggage collection and storage and oversee front desk financial transactions.
  • Informing guests about hotel amenities: This includes pool, spa, and other amenities like breakfast and dining options.
  • Recommending off-site amenities: These amenities may include tourist areas and dining and shopping establishments.
  • Overseeing employees: This includes front desk, receptionists, and concierges;
  • Room preparation: Guest relations managers ensure rooms are ready for guests before their arrival and check-in.
  • Handling complaints: Things don’t always run smoothly, so it’s a guest relations manager’s job to handle and resolve complaints and then follow up to make sure everything’s back on track.
  • Taking care of special needs guests: This includes disabled guests, the elderly, children, and VIPs.
  • Communication: Guest relations managers are responsible for maintaining open lines of communication between staff and guests.
  • Management: This includes overseeing other guest relations team members, including receptionists, concierges, housekeepers, and wait staff. This also involves assessing employee performance.
  • Fielding feedback: This includes reviewing guest feedback, whether at the hotel or online, and implementing methods for improvement.

What Education Does a Guest Relations Manager Need?

Many guest relations managers hold a bachelor’s degree in management, though most will pursue more advanced and specialized education, attaining master’s degrees in business administration (MBA) or management and leadership. In these types of degree programs you will gain valuable experience in business, understanding budgets, marketing, communication, and leadership. As a guest relations manager you will often work with other employees to help create a positive atmosphere at your hotel and resort, so an advanced degree can be key in helping you be prepared for this role. However, this largely depends on each employer’s requirements and competition in the specific field. Zippia reports that 10.7% of guest relations managers have master's degrees.

In addition to education, most employers look for proven work experience as a guest relations manager, hotel manager, or similar roles in the hospitality industry. You’ll also need experience with quality standards, the industry’s latest trends, guest relationship management software, a high level of responsibility, and the ability to work flexible hours.

Best Degrees for an Guest Relations Manager:

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 68% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: 80% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Management and Leadership – M.S.

An online master's degree focused on change management,...

An online master's degree focused on change...

An online master's degree focused on change management, innovation, and leading teams:

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 18 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director

Develop a comprehensive suite of leadership skills and your confidence to navigate changing business structures.

Next Start Date

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

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Our online university degree programs start on the first of every month, all year long.

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

Learn about online college admissions at WGU.

Renaissance Hotel, Seattle

What Skills Does a Guest Relations Manager Need?

Guest relations managers need to have a robust skill set to perform their job duties successfully. Common skills include:

  • A passion for customer service: Guest relations managers ensure that clients receive the best customer service possible by maintaining high standards for staff.
  • Problem-solving abilities: You’ll need to think on your feet to quickly resolve problems and other issues as they arise and in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Communication skills: Whether with a guest or an employee, guest relations managers need to communicate effectively to ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Management skills: Guest relations managers are often responsible for large teams across multiple departments (e.g., front desk, reception, guest services, customer service).
  • Time-management skills: As a guest relations manager, you can be pulled in multiple directions at once, so it’s up to you to manage your time effectively.
  • Organizational skills: Guest relations managers are responsible for multiple aspects of day-to-day operation, so it’s essential to remain organized.

How Much Does a Guest Relations Manager Make?


Guest relations managers earn an average salary of $100,975 per year, with a low of $26,561 and a high of $187,200. Factors that can influence how much a guest relations manager earns include:

Location: Guest relations managers can make more in some cities than in others.

Business size: Larger hotel chains often pay more than smaller, independently owned facilities.

Years of experience: Guest relations managers with more experience will typically earn more than those with less experience.

Level of education: While higher education isn’t always required for a role as a guest relations manager, those with bachelor’s degrees may have more earning power than individuals without.

What is the Projected Job Growth?


According to Zippia, guest relations managers are expected to experience an 8% growth between 2019 and 2029. This translates into about 22,860 new jobs during this time.

Factors that can influence the demand for guest relations managers include a strong economy since the more money people have, the more likely they’ll splurge it on hotel, resort, and spa experiences.

Where Do Guest Relations Managers Work?


Guest relations managers work in a variety of environments including hotels, resorts, casinos, spas, amusement parks and cruise ships.

Interested in Becoming a Guest Relations Manager?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this exciting career.

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