Which skills are needed to work in the travel & tourism industry?
Working in the travel and tourism sector is often customer facing, which means a variety of skills are essential. This can include:
Positivity and optimism
Tact and consideration
It's also important to have knowledge of the business and market you're working in, both with regard to the consumer and competitors.
The value of sustainable tourism and green business is increasingly important, so doing things ethically and thinking about the wider environmental impact is vital. A sense of adventure is helpful in this sector too!
What are typical progression routes within the travel & tourism sector'?
With large travel organisations, whether they're hotel chains or travel agencies, there will be a set scheme for progression that can help you climb the ladder quickly.
You're can move up to manage a team. You might also get the chance to manage branches, products, brands and campaigns, depending on your area of responsibility.
Like any sector, smaller companies are likely to offer fewer opportunities for long-term progression, but they might offer greater responsibility at the beginning of your career.
What career development opportunities are there in the travel & tourism industry?
Graduate jobs in travel and tourism can offer good salaries, clear career progression and wide opportunities for learning.
Lots of large companies provide structured training. This is to ensure you continue to develop your skills and keep up to date with industry developments. It'll also help you provide the best customer service.
There are also plenty of opportunities to train independently. They're provided by the Institute of Travel & Tourism. Some of the courses include:
Writing and design
Management and leadership
Finance for non-financial managers
You can see opportunities for training and development and find out more information here.
How much do Travel & tourism professionals get paid?
In most cases, working in the head office of a travel company will command larger salaries than working on the ground in the resort or hotel.
Here are sample salaries for certain jobs within the travel and tourism industry:
Assistant hotel manager - £18,873 - £27,349
General hotel manager - £17,234 - £58,378
Head chef - £25,444
Concierge - £19,636
Hotel receptionist - £18,596
Travel agent - £15,538 - £25,215
Travel agency operations manager - £28,161
Travel campaign manager - £36,389
Travel social media manager - £33,255
Strategic partnerships manager - £35,049
Marketing manager - £27,839
Customer service manager - £18,576
Assistant product manager - £24,254
What qualifications do I need to work in the travel & tourism sector?
It's unlikely that you'll need qualifications in a particular subject to get a job in the travel and tourism industry. However it's likely that you'll have to display strong aptitude for dealing with people and have a commitment to the industry.
Like every other industry, the travel sector needs marketers, coders, graphic designers, accountants, writers and managers. If your degree gave you any of these skills you can team them up with your passion for travel and pursue jobs in these specific areas.
For in-resort jobs such as childcare rep or hotel manager, you may need to take a course after uni to gain specific skills and knowledge. Online courses are a good place to start.
Other degrees or skills that could be beneficial for your career in travel and tourism include events management or business.
How can I start a travel & tourism career?
Any type of work experience you have in the sector will help you stand out to employers.
There are many graduate jobs available in the travel and tourism sector. Some of the biggest graduate employers include:
Hotels: Marriott, De Vere Group, InterContinental Hotels Group
Travel: TUI Travel, Expedia UK
There are various different graduate-level roles within these companies, the majority of which will be commercially focused. They may include:
Graduate programmes will give you a structured pattern of work, set goals to reach, and often offer the chance of a permanent job after the completion of your scheme. Schemes usually last between one and three years.
Some schemes combine traditionally separate areas: marketing, sales and finance within the same scheme, for example.
For graduate schemes in travel and tourism, any good quality degree will suffice. Most employers will ask for an upper second-class (2:1).