Tourism Marketing and Sales
See what career options are available in the tourism marketing and sales field. Also find out what education is needed to enter these paths and what types of salaries you could earn.
Are Tourism Marketing and Sales for Me?
Professionals in tourism sales and marketing help clients plan travel arrangements. Reservation clerks sell tickets and make itineraries for customers. Travel agents determine travel rates, figure out the best travel options for their clients and offer tour packages or other travel promotions. Some lodging managers work with other marketing professionals to advertise and promote the hotel they work for. You should have great communication skills and enjoy interacting with other people to work in tourism marketing and sales.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that employment in tourism tends to fluctuate with the economy (www.bls.gov). The BLS projects that job opportunities for reservation clerks would decrease by 14%, opportunities for travel agents would decline by 12% and opportunities for lodging managers will remain roughly unchanged from 2012-2022.
In 2012, reservation clerks earned a median annual income of $32,400, travel agents earned $34,600 and lodging managers earned $46,810. Although most occupations in tourism marketing and sales only have moderate earning potential, you are often able to use travel transportation and accommodations at a reduced rate.
How Can I Work in Tourism Sales and Marketing?
Training and Education
If you're interested in becoming a reservation clerk, you only need a high school diploma. Most of your training comes from programs and seminars conducted by the company you work for. Companies prefer to hire travel agents who have some formal training directly related to tourism sales. You may be able to become a lodging manager with years of experience working in the industry, but many hotel chains will only hire people who have a bachelor's degree.
You can complete a travel agent certificate program that teaches you the basics of creating reservations, shows you how the industry operates and gives you skills to match travelers with the travel products that suit their desires. An associate's degree in travel and tourism can prepare you to work for a large travel agency or give you the skills to start your own travel business. This type of degree program gives you course options in group tour operations, travel marketing techniques and travel industry management.
An associate's degree in travel and hotel management can be useful for travel agents or lodging managers. This type of program offers courses in cruises and tours, hospitality supervision and professional selling. A bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management might be a good option for aspiring lodging managers.
Training for hotel management can begin in high school with the Lodging Management Program. This program can lead to the Certified Rooms Division Specialist designation and even give you college credit. Some schools may require you to work at a hospitality business, in addition to completing coursework. If you're interested in a degree program that emphasizes international travel, you may need to take some foreign language courses on top of the other degree requirements.