Tourism and Travel Mgmt.

Professionals in the field of tourism and travel management are involved in the marketing, financial and day-to-day operations of businesses in the tourism industry. Most managerial jobs require at least a bachelor's degree and practical work experience. Keep reading to learn more.

Is Tourism and Travel Management Right for Me?

Career Overview

Professionals in the tourism and travel management field are concerned with developing and promoting attractive tour plans for vacationers and other leisurely travelers. Tourism and travel managers often work to ensure that the daily operations of their establishments are running smoothly and efficiently. Others may work within the sales, marketing and promotions departments of travel companies to come up with new tours and travel packages to attract visitors. You'll need expert knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as keen business management skills, to succeed in this field.

Career Options

Careers in travel and tourism range from managing large resorts to planning exotic tours. Sample entry-level tourism jobs include reservations agent, tour planner, business travel planner and lodging manager, including hotel and resort managers.

Employment Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected jobs for lodging managers to grow only one percent between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, that prediction of little to no change is due to hotels streamlining their operations, eliminating the need for large staff. The BLS reported in May 2012 that the median annual salary for lodging managers was $46,810.

More advanced positions can be found in the areas of tourism product development, tourism planning and marketing for corporations and other businesses involved in tourism. According to PayScale.com, the annual salary range for general managers of hotels in March 2014 was $29,107-$122,339; for general restaurant managers, it was $37,000-$63,615, while marketing managers working in the tourism industry made from $57,931-$134,815. These jobs are generally found within international tour companies, cruise lines, theme parks, national air carriers, spas, casinos and travel bureaus.

How Can I Work In Tourism and Travel Management?

Undergraduate Education

If you'd like to pursue a career in this industry, many colleges and universities offer a variety of degrees in tourism and travel management. For instance, you could earn a degree in travel industry management, tourism management, hospitality management or business administration with a tourism focus. An associate's degree in travel and tourism management is a good starting point, although a bachelor's degree is often preferred for lodging managers, says the BLS. A degree in business management combined with appropriate experience may also lead to a management position in this industry.

Courses and Program Options

Tourism and travel management degree programs supplement standard business management skills with coursework specific to the tourism and travel industry. Major coursework covers topics in hospitality sales, customer service management, marketing, financial management and hospitality accounting. Distance learning options are available to you as well, such as an online bachelor's degree in travel and tourism management. Related certificate programs are available in some schools at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Graduate Education

Advanced degrees in this field are available at the master's and doctoral levels. If you wish to pursue an executive-level position in a leading travel and tourism company, you may consider earning a Master of Business Administration. Advanced courses explore tourism policy, economic trends in tourism, financial tourism strategies and sustainable tourism. Most schools emphasize hands-on learning by combining classroom instruction with practical experience through work-study or internship opportunities to better prepare you for entry in the job market.

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