Travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Each year, millions of people travel to various destinations in the world for vacation, business or other purposes. With the growth of low cost airlines and availability of inexpensive accommodations, traveling is becoming cheaper so even more people can visit the country or destination of their dreams. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the travel and tourism industry, now’s the time to learn more about the job duties, requirements, and salaries.
When people think of travel jobs, almost immediately, they will think of travel agents. Travel agents are professionals who help travelers plan their vacation or trip. Whether you need to book a hotel, make reservations for a special concert or show, find cheap flights, rent a car or plan a special surprise trip for your spouse, a travel agent can help you make all the necessary arrangements. They will also be able to tell you about the location where you will be visiting, offering information about the weather, language, culture, top tourist attractions, best restaurants, and almost anything else you want to know. To become a travel agent, the candidate must possess some level of training, preferably a full-time travel agent program in a recognized institution. In 2008, the median salary for travel agents was around $30,000.
Tourist guides are on field agents who take care of the tourists on their trip. Some tourist guides set off at the point of departure and accompany the travelers for the entire trip, right up to the end. There are also local tourist guides who bring travelers on tours to the famous attractions and shopping areas. Since they are dealing with people, tourist guides must enjoy communicating with people from all walks of life and they should have excellent knowledge about the locations and attractions. Different countries have different qualification requirements for tourist guides and some of them work as freelancers so it’s hard to pinpoint a standard policy on the matter. In some countries, tourist guides are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a license. In the United States, the average salary of a tourist guide is about $40,000 per annum.
A reservation agent is also important in the travel and tourism industry. Unlike a travel agent, a reservation agent is specialized in helping travelers and tourists make reservations for airlines, hotels, car rentals, or cruises. Usually, a reservation agent works in the call center of a particular company. In this sense, a Delta Air reservation agent will only help clients to book air tickets and a Hertz reservation will only help clients to book cars for rental. There’s no fixed academic qualification for reservation agents because they receive specialized training in their companies. The average salary of a reservation agent is about $22,000 per annum.
There are many other jobs in the travel and tour industry, extending to hospitality, airline, cruise, healthcare, and so on. While the salary in the travel and tour industry is not always the best, there are benefits like discounts for air tickets and accommodations, among others.