CAREERS IN THE TOURISM SECTOR
THE TOURISM SECTOR plays a very vital role in the economic activities of various countries around the world. In certain countries, income generated from tourism activities constitute a huge portion of the country’s GDP. Those countries that are not taking advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the tourism sector are being left behind in a big way. A number of career opportunities exist in the tourism sector. We look at a number of those career opportunities in this article.
1) TRAVEL AGENT
Travel Agents research, plan, and book holiday or business trips for individuals and groups. Although there are now several online platforms that offer people an opportunity to research and book their own travel arrangements online, it is much more convenient to use a travel agent, as they often have vast experience and knowledge in tourism destinations and ways to get there . They are able to help with booking airtickets, accommodation, transfer arrangements, and activities.
If you’re considering a career as a Travel Agent, you will need superb organisational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to think on your feet. We will be look more at this acreer path in our next articles.
2) HOTEL MANAGER
A hotel Managers oversees all aspects of running a hotel establishment – starting with housekeeping and general maintenance to budget management and marketing of the hotel. To embark on a career as a hotel manager, you will need excellent interpersonal skills, experience in the hospitality industry, and experience in managing employees.
You will be responsible for the daily running of the hotel, including recruitment, training and supervising staff; managing budgets; planning maintenance work; dealing with customer complaints; overseeing reservations; promoting and marketing the hotel; and ensuring that the hotel complies with health and safety regulations.
3) SPA MANAGER
Spa Managers are responsible for the daily operations of health and beauty spas. They manage a spa’s finances, employees, and services. Many of the tasks are business-related and can include recordkeeping, getting involved in promotional campaigns, maintaining stock inventories, and payroll management.
Spa Managers create weekly or monthly work schedules, oversee general spa maintenance, train new employees, and arrange staff workshops on new treatments. Often, experience in spa management is essential when applying for this position.
4) TOUR OPERATOR
Tour Operators put together tour and travel components to create holiday packages. They deal with a number of service providers, including bus operators, airlines and hotels. They prepare itineraries for various destinations and will study trends in popular destinations in order to put together attractive holiday packages for their clients. They deal mainly with Travel Agents, who in turn deal with the public. Tour Operators will often visit destinations to check whether they should include them in their packages. This career is suitable for those who enjoy traveling.
5) EVENT & CONFERENCE ORGANISER
Event & Conference Organisers are responsible for the finer details of planning and organising any event. They work as part of a bigger team. They co-ordinate every aspect of meetings and conferences, from speakers and meeting venues to the printed materials and audio-visual equipment to be used during the event.
To become an Event and Conference Organiser, you need to be able to think on your feet, pay attention to detail, deal with clients and suppliers, and work under tight deadlines and pressure and be willing to work long hours in order to ensure the success of an event.
6) TOUR GUIDE
Tour Guides give guided tours to individual or groups of visitors/tourists. They must have expert knowledge of specific tourist attractions, including, but not limited to natural features, historic sites, museums, game parks and other tourist destinations. Tour Guides may provide , open view safaris, walking tours, bus tours, or even boat tours.
As a Tour Guide you are more likely to gain most of your experience on the job. You need to have excellent communication skills – and being multilingual will make your job much more interesting.
7) EXECUTIVE CHEF
People are happier when they eat good food. Food makes people happier. This job is suitable for people who enjoy making people happy with the food that they prepare. The Executive Chef is in charge of a restaurant’s kitchen, and is responsible for managing the kitchen staff, planning the menu, sourcing the freshest ingredients, and making sure that food hygiene is maintained throughout the restaurant. An Executive Chef must be able to spot problems and resolve them quickly and efficiently.
If you’re passionate about fine dining, this might be the perfect career for you. It involves thorough training in all aspects relating to food preparation and costing.
A Sommelier is an expert in wines. A Wine Sommelier is passionate about the different kinds of wines. He or she is very well trained and has accumulated vast knowledge about wine, specialising in all aspects of wine service. Five-star restaurants will usually employ a Sommelier to develop their wine list and to help customers find a wine within their budget that suits their tastes and complements their food.
As a Sommelier, your day usually starts around 14:00, when you review your inventory, meet with suppliers, and arrange to taste wines. Before the restaurant opens for dinner, you go over the wine list with your staff. Then you work the floor, seeing to customer’s needs. Your day might not end until 01:00 or 02:00 in the morning when the last customer leaves the restaurant.
9)PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
A Public Relations Officer or PR Manager manages a brand’s reputation, and will plan, develop, and implement specific strategies to build and maintain the overall brand and reputation. The PR Manger will also act as the company’s spokesperson when called upon do so. In the Tourism and Hospitality environment, a PR Manager might work for a hotel chain, a cruise company, or a game reserve depending on where the opportunities present themselves.
The job will involve communicating positive press releases about the company, arranging events at the hotel (including press conferences, exhibitions, open days, and tours) and connecting with relevant influencers in the industry. PR Managers will also have to deal with potential crisis situations. Excellent communication and problem-solving skills are essential for a PR Manager.
10) LEISURE ACTIVITY CO-ORDINATOR
Leisure Activity Co-ordinators usually work for resorts and hotel chains. They’re the people on the ground who make sure that planned activities run smoothly. They’re also responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day management of a leisure centre, organising health and fitness programmes, promoting and marketing the business, and interacting with guests. To become a Leisure Activity Co-ordinator, you will need excellent interpersonal skills, as you will spend most of your time interacting with guests.
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