Travel & Tourism

The travel and tourism industry is made up of many different sectors and sub-sectors, including services such as retail travel, currency exchange, tour operators and tourist boards. It also covers passenger transport including coach, aviation, rail and waterways and visitor attractions such as museums, theme parks, zoos and heritage sites. A variety of accommodation services also fall within this industry, including hotels, hostels and holiday parks.

In travel and tourism, there are jobs on both sides of the process: helping customers decide where to go, and assisting them once they get there. Roles such as holiday representative (working in resorts), tour manager, tourism officer, tourist information centre officer and jobs in travel agencies all sit within this industry, as well as jobs in places like kitchens, leisure centres, holiday parks, even aboard planes.

Travel agent jobs

A travel agent’s job is to give well-informed, appropriate advice to clients about where and when to travel based on their needs. They could also be arranging flights, insurance and accommodation, using a booking system to secure holidays, collecting and processing payments, advising clients on visas and passports, sending out tickets to clients, keeping clients up to date with any changes, and dealing with complaints or refunds.

Jobs in hotels & accommodation

Careers within hotels and accommodation can vary greatly depending on the kind of establishment you work in. For instance, if you work in a youth hostel, your working life will be very different to that of someone working in a five star resort. Depending on the size of the organisation and what services they provide, you will be able to explore many different career paths.

Holiday rep jobs

A holiday or resort representative looks after groups of holiday-makers by making sure they enjoy their holiday experience. As a resort representative, they also keep records, and write reports about complaints and incidents such as illness. These tourism professionals meet groups of holiday-makers when they arrive at the airport, accompany holiday-makers by coach to their accommodation, hold welcome meetings to give information about resort facilities and local attractions, meeting holiday-makers at pre-arranged times to make announcements and deal with enquiries and problems.

People in this field of work sometimes accompany tourists on excursions and sightseeing trips, arranging car or ski hire if necessary, and are on-call to give advice and deal with emergencies like lost passports or money, illness or difficulties with accommodation.

Every establishment requires managerial staff to oversee the general operations. Larger hotel chains are also likely to employ financial staff, marketing departments, human resources and administrative staff. 

Travel & tourism apprenticeships 

There are many apprenticeships available to school leavers wanting to get into this industry, from Intermediate Apprenticeships in cabin crew, hospitality services and travel and tourism, to Advanced Apprenticeships in leisure management and catering. There are also Higher Apprenticeships in hospitality management.

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