The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

You want to go to travel and tourism college? Once you obtain the necessary travel and tourism degree, then what? Tracy Snelling, an account manager at Atlas Travel International, a travel agency in Milford, MA, never went the traditional route of going to travel and tourism college, but she can tell you a lot about the career in store for you. The award-winning innovative company in products and services, not only prides itself in their excellent company culture, but her ability to help her clients. So what does it take to be a travel and tourism pro?

How Snelling’s Travel and Tourism Career Began

When Snelling was in college, she was drawn to work at a small agency in North Carolina part time. “I thought it would be nice to travel,” she recalls. “Little did I know it really wasn’t that much about traveling.” But the job did have its benefits. In fact, Snelling’s experience at Atlas Travel International landed her an accounting job. Sure, she was in the back of the Atlas office doing the books, but she soon realized her true calling on the job.

“When I realized that accounting would drive me crazy, I used my customer service skills and moved to the front office as a travel consultant,” explains Snelling who also worked on leisure trips and corporate reservations. “As a travel agent, I loved working with people to provide them what they were truly looking for in travel,” she says. Within a few years, Snelling found herself managing the travel and tourism agency, training agents, and more. Snelling’s largest account hired her to start their client services department. She then moved to Massachusetts where her travel and tourism career flourished.

A Typical Day for a Travel and Tourism Pro

For Snelling, there’s no such thing as a typical day in her travel and tourism career. “It’s so fast-paced that change is the only typical expectation,” she explains. “You can expect that what ever task list you start with will not be the one that you follow throughout the day.” From internal customer service requests to numerous external requests, most of which are not planned on.

When it’s all said and done, the daily stresses are outweighed by Snelling’s satisfaction from assisting those in need of her travel and tourism expertise and assistance. “The industry has never been typical or predictable It keeps my juices flowing,” says Snelling. “Learning about all the great destinations of the world also makes the job incredible.”

Snelling’s Advice: From Travel and Tourism College to Work

Of course, tourism education is paramount. You will need training at a travel and toursim college before you land an awesome job like Snelling. Combine what you learn at a travel and tourism college with experience, advises Snelling. “Get as much experience in customer service and business management as possible,” she says. “If you can learn anything at all about the travel industry, that will definitely help you.”

Snelling adds that travel and tourism careers are very unique, so do your research first. Once you’ve earned the necessary travel and tourism degree at a travel and tourism college, you can find placement with a good company. “Stay with that company and learn from them,” Snelling explains. “Work hard, and enjoy the challenges you face.”

The Importance of Travel and Tourism

In countries around the world, the importance of travel and tourism for national economies is evident from the contributions the sector makes. Taken as a whole, this industry employs over 100 million people directly and a similar number in related jobs, contributing a whopping 9 percent of global GDP, or $6 trillion. A closer look at the statistics from institutions such as the World Economic Forum also reveals that 10 percent of all jobs globally are in this sector, and there are logical explanations why certain countries have succeeded.

Analysis reveals that Europe is in the lead in travel and tourism, and all the top ten countries are from the region. Switzerland leads the pack for a number of reasons. Firstly, its infrastructure is second to none and facilities related to the sector are top notch, including staff. Secondly, the country has a reputation as having the best hotel management schools in the world. Thirdly, Switzerland’s environmental policies are of a very high standard, heavy emphasis being placed on sustainability. This forward thinking has been emulated by countries such as Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Investment in the travel and tourism sector cannot be overemphasized, and in Africa, this is clearly evident in a number of countries. The ratio of investment in the industry to GDP in Seychelles is the second highest in the world, and in Kenya, high government spending on destination marketing has seen the industry grow to be the top foreign exchange earner. This continued investment suggests that the industry continues to develop and has not reached stagnation. In essence, this is an immensely important industry and any country that wants to boost its economy must seriously consider high investment in the sector, particularly since even in times of recession, job growth is seen to be on the rise and can be an attractive argument to increase investment.

Many aspects of a country can set it apart, making travel and tourism a very viable option; the lifestyle of the people, their traditions and customs, culinary culture, wildlife, landmarks, and more that can be said to be truly unique. After all, traveling is all about new experiences, and as long as mankind thirsts for these new experiences, this industry will continue to grow, and no doubt countries should take advantage of the huge and enormous potential within their shores that is unlimited in every respect.

Travel and Tourism Curriculum Explained

Many people who want to go into the travel and tourism industry have never had the benefits of academic travel and tourism curriculum explained to them, so they do not understand why it is so important to get an education in order to excel in this industry. Although becoming a travel agent or working for an airline doesn’t necessarily require a degree, many employers in these and other industries prefer educated applicants, and some jobs require it. If you are passionate about this industry and have the education to prove how qualified you are, you will be more likely to get the tourism jobs you’ve dreamed of.

Travel and tourism curriculum varies depending on the school you’re attending, the degree or certificate you’re going after and the specialization you are studying. You will most likely take courses in business and management as well as classes about travel consulting, accounting, restaurant and hospitality operations, communications, international travel and more. If you earn a bachelor’s degree from a traditional four-year university you will also need to take general courses in subjects like math, science, English and history to graduate.

Although this type of degree or training program is not required for many of the available tourism jobs, it will prepare you for a more lucrative career and make you a more attractive applicant when you begin looking for employment. The curriculum will vary depending on whether you are looking for basic credentials or a certificate or degree, but in any case you will learn valuable lessons about the industry. You will also have opportunities to complete internship programs that provide hands-on experience in the tourism industry. For this reason you may want to consider attending school in an area where travel and tourism are popular.

There are travel and tourism curriculum programs at online universities, vocational schools, community colleges and traditional four-year colleges and universities. It would be wise to explore all your options and choose the best path for your particular career goals. With the right training, a rewarding career in the travel and tourism industry awaits.

Traveling For Free – Travel and Tourism Jobs Overview

Getting a job in travel and tourism can enable you to earn some money while traveling the globe or staying overseas for a year or more. This way, you can be continuously traveling and enjoy the discoveries that come with it.

Many larger tourism operations (cruises, beach resorts, hotel chains, airlines, amusement parks, travel agencies and wholesalers) are needing a variety of skilled employees (bartenders, cooks, waiters, receptionists, flight attendants, tour guides, musicians, security personnel, shopping specialists, massage therapists, medical personnel, babysitters, photographers, drivers and pilots, clerks and various customer service personnel, etc.)

If you already have training and/or experience in any of these fields of work you could be an excellent and easy candidate for a travel and tourism company. Many of them will hire overseas and arrange for the necessary work permits. If you don’t have prior experience in these fields, there are training courses galore – but you could always try as you are for some of these jobs. Several of the junior positions are geared towards students.

These kinds of jobs do tend to be more long-term and will suit those inclined to the traveling lifestyle. They can also give you the chance to live abroad for an extended period of time without necessarily engaging you in a career. Many of these jobs will be found within large companies but you can also find them out in smaller businesses where there can be less constraints and looser structures.

It is also interesting to look into the direction of becoming a travel writer or to be producing travel videos on your own. There are now many opportunities (especially online) to create written, filmed and photographed content related to your travels. Lonely Planet, for example, will pay you 500$ for a travel video if they find it interesting. In several countries, you can easily live on 500$ for a month.

There are quite a few online and printed magazines that will pay for and publish good travel writing. This also includes literary mags which will sometimes accept travel fiction and poetry. In addition to getting some money back this gives you a platform for self-expression and connecting to people. On top of this, there are travel writing contests that will give out cash prizes and free trips to the winners. Look them up online in Google.