Travel and Tourism is one of the world's largest industries when taken as a whole, and provides employment directly and indirectly to millions of people worldwide through many associated service industries (Buckinghamshire Chilterns). A very wide industry, it includes government tourism departments, immigration and customs services, travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, hotels etc and many associated service industries such as airline catering or laundry services, guides, interpreters, tourism promotion and sales etc. Travel and Tourism enterprises include major internationals with a workforce of thousands, to the small private travel agent with a handful of employees.
Employment in the travel and tourism industry is essentially concerned with providing services for people who are away from home, on business or holiday. Travel can be leisure travel involving package tours, pilgrim travel, adventure travel etc or purely business. Work at every functional level in the industry involves dealing directly with people. Travel agents assess the needs of tourists and businessmen and help them make the best possible travel arrangements from the many travel options available. Also, many major cruise lines, resorts, and specialty travel groups use travel agents to promote travel packages to the millions of people who travel every year.
Travel company personnel must be up-to-date on current rules and regulations and documentation required, in areas like cargo, ticketing and passports, visas etc. so as to correctly advise their clients, and to take care of the paperwork when necessary. Besides this, all tourism staff in marketing, counter sales, or guide services, should be knowledgeable about the places their clients visit, in terms of general background, how to get there by air, rail and road and the facilities available.
Some of the major areas of operation and the qualifications necessary for them, are (CTHRC):
Tourism Department. In the Tourism Department there are jobs as reservation and counter staff, sales and marketing staff, tour planners and tour guides. They are involved in the planning and promotion of tourism activities. A degree in travel and tourism is required for many operational jobs in government organisations.
Airlines. Working in an airline, whether on the ground staff or in-flight is an exciting option for many people these days. In the airlines, one can work as traffic assistants, reservation and counter staff, airhostesses and flight pursers, sales and marketing staff and customer services. A course in travel and tourism or a qualification in Hotel Management helps to get in.
Tour Operators. Tour operators organise conducted tours to various tourist destinations as well as arrange for the travel and stay of the tourists. There are many companies operating tours for the domestic as well as the international tourist. Some may be for the usual tourist resorts but others are for unusual activities like river rafting, hang gliding, rock climbing and camping. Tour operators need people for selling the concept and then to accompany the groups to the destinations. The qualities required are a pleasing and outgoing