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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Travel & tourism

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All you need to know about the Travel & tourism industry

Travel and tourism is a big business – the UK alone welcomes over 36 million visitors every year and is the 8th biggest tourist destination in the world. The sector generates a lot of income and has a huge range of opportunities for an exciting career.

To support all of these tourists the industry relies on hotels, attractions, and even restaurants to ensure that the UK continues to be a competitive tourist destination. Within these areas there is an abundance of seasonal and part-time work that can be very lively, enjoyable and well-suited to those who have good customer service skills.

Then, of course, you could choose work within international tourism, which is a popular job choice that allows you to travel all around the globe and experience different cultures – all in the name of work. These roles tend to be highly competitive and you may have to work your way up to a position with regular international travel perks.

Within the UK there is a variety of travel and tourism business companies that all have the usual business departments such as marketing, finance, HR, and advertising. These companies usually have customer service roles too that involve advising people on holidays and even booking them on their behalf. If you get a kick out of organising and planning and are enthusiastic about travelling, a career as a travel agent will be right up your street.

Skills & interests needed for Travel & tourism

You will obviously need to be interested in travel and tourism, alongside having a commercial mind, to know what customers are going to want from their travel experiences.

If you’re working within a customer service role it’s also important to be enthusiastic and helpful so that the consumer can have the best experience possible, from the planning stage all the way through to the holiday itself.

The exact skillset will depend on which role you are looking at, but general soft skills that will help you in travel and tourism include:

- Business Strategy
- Communication
- Creativity
- Event Planning
- Organisation
- Problem Solving

What work experience do you need for a career in Travel & tourism

Work experience tends to be relatively easy to source in this industry, because there is a huge demand for seasonal and part-time work – particularly in the summer periods. Try researching local restaurants, hotels or theme parks for opportunities.

You could also consider doing some work experience abroad at a holiday resort or a summer camp. This is a great way to work with people from a variety of different backgrounds whilst enjoying a different culture.

If you are interested in a role that will involve writing, you could contact some travel websites and offer to do some articles or blog posts for them. Having a portfolio of work about travel will allow you to easily demonstrate your interest in the industry and that you’re aware of current trends and issues within travel and tourism.

Useful resources

Institute of Travel and Tourism
Take Off in Travel
Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions
British Destinations
British Educational Travel Association (BETA)
Tourism Management Institute
The Tourism Society
Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
Tourism Alliance