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How to Work in Travel and Tourism


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Are you passionate about people and hooked on holidays? Does the idea of travelling for a living sound like a dream come true? Would you like the opportunity to spread your wings and fly with an overseas career? If so, the travel and tourism industry could be right up your street!

What do Travel and Tourism Workers Do?

The travel and tourism industry is extremely diverse and comprises thousands of professional roles across countless settings. From the tour operators who put together holiday packages to the travel agents selling them to customers to the reps and excursion services overseas, it takes a dynamic team of service providers to drive the travel and tourism industry.

Typical duties of those who work in travel and tourism may include:

  • Assembling and booking package holidays
  • Making transport and transfer arrangements
  • Finding and booking accommodation
  • Organizing excursions and activities
  • Working with other agencies and service providers worldwide
  • Helping safeguard traveller health, wellbeing and safety
  • Quality control
  • Sales and marketing of tourism products
  • Providing comprehensive customer care and support
  • Researching global tourism markets and hotspots

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Am I Right For the Job?

Working in travel and tourism is about so much more than booking holidays. It is about putting each and every essential piece of the puzzle together, in order to meet or ideally exceed clients’ expectations, every time. It is about making dreams come true, helping others create memories to last a lifetime and constantly striving to provide the most outstanding customer service.

Just a few of the most important key skills and character traits you’ll need to succeed in travel and tourism include:

  • A genuine passion for travel
  • The desire to work directly with people
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Willingness to research and study global destinations
  • Flexibility, patience and the highest-level communication skills
  • Impeccable customer service skills
  • A knack for selling and presenting products/services
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • An outgoing, friendly and approachable personality

Ongoing Progression

Typical salaries vary enormously, in accordance with the role, level and setting of the individual in question. For example, an entry-level position with a travel agent may attach a salary of around £22,000, while branch managers and tour managers may earn in excess of £40,000. Managers, executives and directors with major tour operators can take home enormous salaries – as can those who set up their own travel and tourism businesses from scratch.

Professional Lifestyle

The professional lifestyle to expect will be very different from one professional setting to the next. While certain travel agents may only work during standard office hours, other travel services are provided on a 24/7 basis. Airport workers, holiday representatives and so on often work highly unpredictable hours. Tourism workers in general may of course be required to travel on a frequent basis, both nationally and internationally.

“I used to spend so much of my spare time browsing and researching holidays that I figured I might as well see if I could get paid for it! Working as a travel agent allows me to do what it is I love to do as a career, while at the same time gaining huge satisfaction from assembling dream trips for other people. And without being too specific, I’ll just say that the perks and benefits that come with working in tourism are pretty sweet too!” – Paula Haimsworth, Travel Agent

Taking the Next Step

While it’s technically possible to work in travel and tourism without a relevant qualification, those who study the subject generally make the most impressive and rapid progress. Whether looking to secure your first position in the industry or in pursuit of promotion, a recognised qualification could help ensure you stand out from the crowd and make yourself noticed.

Brentwood Open Learning College is proud to offer a range of premium-quality distance learning programmes for flexible home study. Complete the course in your own time and at your own pace for a recognised qualification, which could help your long-term career dreams take flight.

Diploma in Travel and Tourism (level 4)

Our highest-level Travel and Tourism Diploma is packed with essential industry insights and world-class theory – ideal for those looking to climb the ladder to top-level positions

Certificate in Travel and Tourism (Level 3)

We also offer an intermediate Travel and Tourism Certificate, which is ideally suited to existing members of the workforce in pursuit of promotion and newcomers alike.

Travel and Tourism Course (Level 1)

For an entry-level overview of the travel and tourism profession, our Level 1 Course lays a preliminary foundation for further study of the subject.