“Most people never forget their first trip – it is often a memorable experience that stays with them forever. Sometimes this experience inspires them to make a career in travel and tourism. I love travelling and toyed with the idea of becoming a flight attendant or travel agent, which was what drew me to the industry initially. But once I began studying tourism my eyes were opened to the wide choice of career options available to me.”
-Bianca Borrett – Tourism Awards Manager, SA Tourism Commission
Why travel and tourism?
If you love travel, then why not make a career of it? People who work in travel and tourism have a passion for travel and a commitment to helping other travelers make the most of their holiday.
Government initiatives, increased industry participation, involvement of start-up ventures and emergence of India as a tourist destination are some of the key factors that have fueled the growth of travel and tourism sector in terms of employment.
The Ministry of Tourism has a tie-up with various state tourism boards to push travel and tourism with the help of television commercials to help increase the inflow of both international as well as domestic tourists across India. Government has also allowed FDI in the Hotel and Tourism related industry. Lifestyle changes have helped drive travel and tourism in the country too a large extent.
What do people in travel and tourism do?
In simple terms, people in the travel and tourism industry transport people to new places, assist with accommodation and help with sightseeing and activities. The jobs include travel agents, wholesalers, tour operators, reservations consultants, hotel staff and a variety of executive positions.
There are many unconventional opportunities available in this sector, including handling passports and visas, destination manager, travel consultant, front office management, HR, business development, PR and event management. Career prospects also exist in the Aviation industry with the booking and reservation department, sales and marketing, customer services and ground staff for airlines. This industry also generates a new source of livelihood, jobs, growth of remote areas, preservation of local skills, venture development at the micro level and sustainable environment management.
How do you join the travel and tourism industry?
There are many ways to join the industry, but before you race off to enroll in a course, look at the various sectors and jobs and narrow your selection to those jobs that appeal to you.
Ask as many people as possible friends, family, the local travel agency, teachers and career counselors what they know about the travel industry; read about the industry in the media; read the travel industry media; career websites – nothing beats research.
Some jobs in travel require specific level qualifications and some roles recognize prior experience or skills gained in other industries e.g. customer service, accounting, I.T., having traveled extensively, an in-depth knowledge of one region of the world.
Whatever jobs appeal to you, remember the travel industry offers the opportunity to up skill and move around. Be realistic that it may take time to be the CEO, so look at entry level jobs, but keep your eye on where you want to eventually specialize.
Where do you start?
Training for jobs is easily available for those who are school leavers seeking a career in the industry, workers looking for a career change and existing travel and tourism industry employees who wish to further develop their career or change from one industry sector to another or from a customer service role to marketing. Senior high school students can also study tourism as part of their senior education certificate and in some cases it will contribute to the score for university admission.
Opportunities are ample in travel space. There are opportunities in travel agency business as well. There is substantial requirement in travel agencies for the position of reservation and counter staff, sales and marketing staff, tour escorts and tour operators. Airlines are on constant lookout for ground staff or in-flight associates, traffic assistants, reservation and counter staff, air hostesses and flight pursers, sales, marketing and client servicing staff.
Well, if this article interests you or you read it with prior interest, you must get started with it.