Effects of career adaptability and career optimism on career intention of tourism and hospitality students

Danni Wang, Catherine Cheung, Xianmu Zhai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In recent years, students have found careers in the tourism and hospitality (T&H) industry less attractive. Attracting and retaining young talents has become more challenging for the T&H industry in the post-pandemic era. To help solve the talent shortage problem, it is vital to understand how students perceive careers and what influences their career planning. The career construction theory indicates an integration between personal needs and career-related expectations. It provides a theoretical framework for the present study to understand what motivates students to begin their careers in the T&H industry. This study aims to empirically examine the relationship between students’ career adaptability and optimism and their effect on future career intentions. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted in mainland China to investigate the interrelationships between career adaptability, career optimism and future career intention. A total of 492 valid responses were collected from students studying T&H. Findings: The findings revealed that career optimism positively influences career adaptability and future career intention, respectively. Conversely, career adaptability is found to have a negative impact on future career intention. Moreover, career optimism has a mediating effect on the relationship between career adaptability and future career intention. The results would benefit educators in career counselling for students and industry practitioners to develop effective career management strategies for young talents in their respective organisations. Originality/value: The application of career construction theory drawn from vocational psychology is suitable to provide knowledge and insights into the development of T&H career research. This study contributes to fill the knowledge gap concerning career adaptation, career optimism and future career intention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Review
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023


  • Career adaptability
  • Career optimism
  • Future career intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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