How to Start a Career in Travel and Tourism

Vinnie loves working in the travel industry and thinks you will too! He checked in with traveler and writer Jane Hurst for her tips on starting and exciting new career!

If you are unhappy with your career, and you want a change that will allow you to see more of the world, learn about new cultures, etc., it may be time to start thinking about switching to a career in travel and tourism. Many things in the travel and tourism industry have changed over the years, and now, it is easier than ever to enjoy a successful career in this industry. Yes, it still helps to have college courses under your belt, but it isn’t always necessary. Let’s take a

look at how you can start your career in travel and tourism.

What Education do You Need?

Most jobs within the travel industry do require you to have a high school diploma. At one time, it was also mandatory to have college courses under your belt as well. Today, this is not necessary for all jobs, although it never hurts to have additional education, including foreign languages training. If you have taken geography, foreign languages, belonged to travel clubs in high school, etc., you already have a lot of the knowledge you need to work in this industry.
In most cases, you are going to receive on-the-job training for any travel company you choose to work for. Many companies like to train employees their own way, and in some cases, they may even be willing to send employees on courses so they can have the right skills for their jobs. If you have any of these skills already, it is important to use them as resume action words so potential employers will take notice.
There are college and university programs available for those who want to get into certain areas of the travel and tourism industry. For instance, if you are interested in a management position, it is going to help if you have a bachelor’s degree in travel, hospital, or business. You can also specialize and take courses for specific areas of tourism, such as ecotourism.

Learn about Career Options

There are several career options available within the travel and tourism industry, and there is bound to be something that is going to excite you. One of the first careers that comes to mind is the travel agent, who takes care of booking vacations, business trips, etc. for clients. A travel agent must be up-to-date with their knowledge about the various destinations, putting together travel packages, and more. They also often get to travel themselves, which helps them to be able to offer travel advice to their clients. Other career options within this industry include:

Airlines – Ground staff, counter staff, traffic assistance, bookings, reservations, in-flight staff, etc.
Hotels – Operations, front office, housekeeping, accounting, maintenance, food and beverages, sales, public relations, security, etc.
Tourism Departments – Tour planners, tour guides, information assistants, reservation staff, counter staff, sales and marketing staff, interpreters, etc.
Transportation – Logistics, airport shuttles and cars, tour guides, sales and public relations, travel managers, travel counsellors, itinerary planning, foreign exchange, destination manager, etc.
Other Options – Adventure tour operator, travel media specialist, travel educationist, global distribution services manager, etc.

Start Applying for Jobs

Once you have decided which area you are most interested in as a career, and you have the qualifications necessary, it is time to start applying for the jobs you want within the travel and tourism industry. Create a resume that is specifically for this industry, making sure to use the right keywords, readable and attractive resume formats, etc. If you are interested in different types of positions at various companies, it is a good idea to have separate resumes for each type of job you are applying for, and not just a general resume that could be for any job.

Jane Hurst is a writer, editor and avid traveler from San Francisco. Contact Jane here: About Jane Hurst

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