By Aimee Nitta                                                                                                                                                                                        Waianae High School

Five stars isn’t just the rate of a hotel, it is the amount of work and effort the employees put into the process of making guest have a great time. The hotel industry is much more complex that I would have expected. You must satisfy guests with their every request and creating a calm and happy atmosphere.

Before attending the LEI program, a hotel was a hotel to me. I didn’t really care about who worked there, what time workers came in and what they had to do. The LEI program opened my eyes to appreciate everyone in the hotel industry. They put so much effort into making someone be happy, it’s almost like they are getting paid to put a smile on someone’s face.

What I was mainly unaware about the visitor industry is that for Hawaii’s economy, most of the money comes from tourism. With people from the mainland all the way to Japan, they pay a great amount of money to stay at the beautiful hotels Hawaii has to offer.

The LEI program gave me a great opportunity to see one of the many options that I could pursue in my near future. I have learned that the hotel industry an unlimited amount of jobs, like being a chef, a waiter, a maid, and executive director and so much more. Also as years pass you can climb to other positions, because one of the General Managers that I met use to be a dish washer, which in my opinion is a very great achievement. Waianae is where I’m from and I’m not ashamed of it. I also met some workers who were born and raised in Waianae, and they now are very highly paid workers who get to travel the world!

As I will be a college student in the near future, I hope that I could possibly get a job at a hotel to see if it is to my interest and to earn college tuition. This not only will let me see if the hotel industry is meant for me, but also give me a great experience. One of my many dreams is to own my own restaurant, so I would need to know how to cook, manage, and work with people. The hotel industry does it all, with way more!

A piece of advice that the hotel employees gave me while touring is that, “you can’t be in the hotel industry if you can’t communicate with people.” I know that this would be an obstacle for me if I pursue a job in the hotel industry. How can a shy person talk with thousands of people a day? The answer I learned is simple, “practice.” Just be a high spirited person and express it to the world.

The term “visitor industry” is now very important to me. The LEI program was the opportunity of a lifetime.