Many high schoolers dream of a career in Travel and Tourism, making money while travelling the world. Well, this industry is about much more. Find out what you can expect from studies in Travel and Tourism, and how it can prepare you for one the most exciting, adventurous career fields out there.
Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of travelling every now and then… Perhaps a nice weekend away with the family, or an adventurous road trip up the coast? Wait, you want more? Well, what about a holiday abroad, or a gap year? Okay, still not enough to cure your travel bug… let’s see. How about this – dedicate your life and career to travel and tourism?
Ah. Now we’re talking.
So, there’s this thing called Travel and Tourism. It’s one of the most exciting, adventurous, and diverse industries out there, and the perfect environment for you to share your passion for travel with the rest of the world. And yup, it’s something in which you can get qualified.
Travel & Tourism Studies
It seems a little odd at first, to think that something so experiential can be studied as a formal qualification. Surely travel isn’t done behind a pile of essays and assignments?
Regarding the travel and tourism industry, there are many aspects that come into play in addition to physically going to new places and ‘travelling,’ as it were. Indeed, if you want to become an expert in this career field, it’s not enough to simply say,
“I love to travel.”
As a professional in this industry, you need to get skilled in areas like
You might work for a travel agent where you manage a team of agents, and you’ll need management and leadership skills.
You also need to have super time management, and meet deadlines for projects and proposals.
Let’s say you’re organising a holiday package trip for a big group of foreigners. You need to know how to coordinate the whole thing, from arranging transport, accommodation, safety measures, and everything else that will make the experience a hit.
When you inform people about something, be this as a travel agent, a tour guide, or a call center operator, you need to know how to communicate clear and proper information – not just in person, but also over the phone, via email, or any other means of communication.
People skills is also a big must.
The travel and tourism industry is about giving people the experience of their life – so you have to communicate with a positive and helpful vibe, and be very approachable, no matter how many times you may have sold the same package, or answered the same questions, or listened to the same travel concerns
The majority of travel plans these days happen online. From blogs, forums, websites, and social media platforms that advertise holiday destinations and packages or offer assistance and guidance… it’s all on the web.
In order to avoid coming short in this industry, you want to have a basic knowledge on how to manage the tech side of this industry.
Maybe you want to start your own tourism company one day, or open your own guesthouse. This requires a certain business sense. It includes aspects of finance and marketing, as well as a general sense of what your restrictions are.
What Kind of Careers Can I Follow?
With a qualification in Travel & Tourism, there is a broad spectrum of career choices waiting for you.
Here are some examples:
- Events Management
- Tour Guiding
- Travel Agencies
- Hotel or Resort Management
- Guest House or Backpackers
- Marketing or Sales Executive
Where can I get qualified?
Travel & Tourism qualifications in South Africa are popular streams at private colleges. They are more commonly offered as Diplomas, rather than degrees, and you’ll find related courses at various colleges across the country.
One of the institutions that offers courses in this field of study is ICESA Education based in KwaZulu-Natal. You can study towards a
For more info on the Travel and Tourism course, including course duration and admission requirements, check out this fact sheet.
Check out more info on this course by clicking here.
Advice From a Travel & Tourism Industry Professional
Laurin Sauls has years of experience in the travel and tourism industry and has established herself as a successful, endlessly energetic Sales Manager.
Here’s what she has to say about some of the misconceptions of the industry.
“If you want to reach your goals, you need to work hard towards them. This is true about any industry you may want to work in.
There is a misconception that as soon as you start working in Travel and Tourism, you’re automatically going to travel the world. But this career isn’t just about travelling the world. It’s also about being a consultant and about educating your clients about their desired destination and activities. It’s about listening to your clients’ needs.
The goal is to give your client a journey that changes their life.”
When asked about the best parts about the industry, she says,
“If you’re really passionate about travelling and tourism, it’s a very good industry to be in. You get to meet and interact with a lot of different people, all the time. And once you’ve worked your way up, you do get to travel a lot.
We get a lot of perks, such as complimentary stays, cheaper accommodation, or cheaper flights, but we all had to work our way up to that. Just like in any industry, the perks and salaries increase over time as you work your way up.”
Her advice to prospective Travel and Tourism students is quite simple.
“In my opinion, Tourism is about having a passion to expand your horizons by interacting with other people – whether it be over the phone, in a sales call, through an IT-related issue, or by analysing a business or market.
Tourism is diverse and unique in its offering to all who have the passion and drive to succeed. When you travel you are taken out of your comfort zone and given the opportunity to experience new and unique things, but also a new and different side of yourself.
If you are keen to head into this industry, make sure that you are a people’s person, that you have lots of patience, and that you genuinely want to give other people the best possible advice. It’s all about loving what you do, and loving the industry as a whole.”
If you’re ready to make a career of your travel passion and are willing to work really hard, the crème-de-la-crème of this industry is waiting for you. New people, fun activities, travel, and lots of crazy experiences to tell your friends and loved ones.
Check out this cool travel blog by Backpack 2 the Future . Chloe and Mark are currently travelling for work and have created this blog to share their experiences, but also to start generating an income from their adventures. If the thought of work and travel floats your boat, have a look at what this crazy couple is up to.