The travel and tourism industry is currently growing, and this is expected to continue in the future, making it a great time to start a career in this sector.
Firstly, you will need to consider whether this industry is the right fit for you. You’ll be working with customers on a day-to-day basis, so you’ll need to be enthusiastic, work well with others and have good listening skills as well as verbal and written communication skills. You’ll also need to work with other agents and people from the travel industry, so effective teamwork is a must. You’ll be booking holidays via booking systems and other online accounts, so you need to be confident using technology. However, flexibility, organisation and being able to deal with difficult situations under pressure is also valuable.
To become a travel professional and start your career in this industry, you may want to consider taking a nationally recognised course. Open Colleges SIT30216 Certificate III in Travel is an online course, which will prepare you for a successful career in domestic and international travel. You’ll get to understand the travel market and through a work placement, acquire the necessary practical skills, including gaining experience using popular industry-specific reservation systems.
Complete your studies, and you will have access to a vast range of job opportunities.
Job opportunities in Travel & Tourism
As a Travel Agent, you will assess clients’ needs, budgets, likes, needs, wants and capabilities to provide advice and to find the most suitable travel options for them. Responsibilities include planning trips, booking international and domestic transportation, accommodation, activities, tours, insurance and fares. You will need to make all reservations through a booking system.
Just like Travel Agents, a Travel Consultant’s aim is to organise the best possible trip based on a client’s specific requirements. The main difference though is that as a Travel Consultant, you will generally rely on your personal knowledge and own destination experience. This means you can work directly with contacts and add more value to clients’ in-destination experiences.
Online Travel Consultant
As an Online Travel Consultant, you’ll be responsible for making all travel arrangements for clients, with all bookings and payments being made online. You will also maintain relationships with external agencies to help get the best possible deals.
As a Hotel Manager (also known as a Hotelier or Lodging Manager), you’ll be responsible for the functioning of a hotel, resort complex or any other lodging-related establishment. This could include managing staff, overseeing marketing activities, dealing with customer service and guest satisfaction, among many other duties.
As a Tour Operator, you’ll be expected to compile packages and organise holiday tours for clients. Unlike Travel Consultants, you’ll focus on all the aspects once tourists have arrived at their destination.
Event and Conference Manager
As the number of professionals travelling for business purposes grows, Event and Conference Managers are also becoming more in-demand. You will be responsible for planning and coordinating the event, controlling expenses and budgets, as well as ensuring all event activities are on track. You will also need to supervise all meeting rooms to ensure they meet clients’ needs. You may also need to distribute any conference materials and update the event website.
Reservation Sales Agent
As a Reservation Sales Agent (also known as a Tour Desk Consultant) you’ll generally work for a tour operator making all travel arrangements for their clients. Daily tasks include dealing with visa application forms, booking flights, transfers and accommodation. You will also deal with all payments on behalf of customers.
Wholesale Travel Consultant
Instead of selling directly to customers, as a Wholesale Travel Consultant, you will supply to retail Travel Agents. You will need to create packages or tour programs that will appeal to a particular market sector. These packages are often at low prices as they generate significant volumes of sales, but you’ll need to promote and distribute them accordingly.
If you’re passionate about travel and enjoy working with others, what are you waiting for? The career prospects and new job opportunities in the industry are flourishing, making it an exciting and rewarding sector to develop your career in.