Our world continues to feel smaller every year. Advancements in travel methods and tourism opportunities not only mean that people can explore the world in a way that previous generations could not have imagined, but that they can do it with luxury and ease that never seemed possible. This is largely thanks to the Travel and Tourism industry, so it’s no surprise that it’s a career which is generating more and more jobs.

Travel and Tourism is a career that not a lot of people know about. There are lots of public misconceptions about it. Some people think working in Travel and Tourism is one big holiday, helping people have fun at their hotel, bar or resort, but also having just as much fun yourself, and spending an enviable amount of time in the sun while you do so. At the other end of the scale, some people think it isn’t a career at all. Instead, it’s something to do on your gap-year, while you decide what your ambitions are. Great fun at the time, but not a serious, long term career path.

As with most careers, the reality lies somewhere in the middle of these extreme perceptions. Working in the Travel and Tourism industry requires dedication and hard work, it is by no means all fun and games; but if you’re committed to it, it’s an exciting and rewarding career, packed full of opportunities and benefits.

So what is Travel and Tourism?

Well think of it this way: the last time you traveled anywhere, experienced being a tourist in a new place, or even enjoyed hospitality in your local town, all the countless employees you met along the way were involved in the travel and tourism industry. It’s all about travel, accommodation, food, drink, hotels, and restaurants. It’s about tourists, holidaymakers, and customer service.

It includes classic jobs like restaurant and hotel staff, concierges, kitchen staff, customer service employees, and entertainment organisers. While some of these sound like entry level jobs, the joy, expertise and progression in this career is often in where you are and who you’re working with. Recreation workers could be employed in luxurious countries. Tour and travel guides could be anywhere, talking about anything. And Air cabin crews and cruise ship staff will find themselves travelling the world.

Your job is often to make sure people enjoy themselves, and the dedication comes in knowing everything you possibly could about what you’re telling them about, and having the ability to pass on this information in a friendly and informative manner. You need good communication skills and you need to be able to prioritise you’re career – there’s nowhere to hide, and it won’t be a nine to five job.

There are different ways to get into this line of work. Like most careers, the more qualified you are the more doors that will open for you, and there are Travel and Tourism courses at both Further and Higher Education Courses and Universities; but the experience is also crucial, so the best first step is to get a job – any job – in the industry. Start at the bottom, be it lifting glasses at a bar, clearing plates in a café, or taking orders in a small restaurant, and once you’re in the door you’ll have the chance to work your way up. Like I’ve said, none of these jobs are as easy or as luxurious as they might seem, but if you’re passionate and open to the hard work, Travel and Tourism could take you anywhere.

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