Travel and Tourism Marketing and Sales
If you have a flair for marketing and would enjoy putting your skills to use enticing others to exotic travel locations, a job in travel and tourism marketing and sales might be just the career for you. Continue reading to learn more about careers in this field and how to prepare for them.
Is Travel and Tourism Marketing and Sales for Me?
Travel and tourism marketing and sales involves promoting and selling a variety of travel services, attractions and vacation packages. You may work in a specialized area of the travel and tourism industry, such as ecological or sports tourism. If you're interested in environmental issues, you may choose to promote sustainable tourism travel experiences.
Information for Travel Agents
Travel agents directly sell travel services to customers, and their activities can include booking flights, making hotel or tour reservations; they may also participate in some marketing initiatives. As a travel agent, you generally have access to reduced, and sometimes even free, lodging and transportation. Detail-oriented people with good communication and computer skills are a good fit for this profession.
Information for Marketing Professionals
Marketing professionals who work for hotels, resorts, cruise lines, theme parks or other businesses within the industry develop ad strategies and research travel trends. They may also participate in public relations and product development. As a marketing specialist with enough work experience, you may be employed as a marketing manager or promotions manager or in advertising and sales management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), travel agents earned a mean annual wage of $37,200 in May 2013 (www.bls.gov). Marketing managers earned an average of $133,700 per year as of 2013, while market research analysts and marketing specialists made average salaries of $67,780.
How Can I Work in Traveling and Tourism Marketing and Sales?
A degree in marketing isn't necessary to become a travel agent. Many employers hire applicants with travel agent training from a vocational school, distance education course or community college. Training typically prepares you for the Travel Agent Proficiency Test (TAP Test). Travel agent courses cover a variety of topics related to the travel and tourism industry, including sales and marketing.
Marketing Degree Programs
According to the BLS, most employers hire marketing managers who have a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. You may also pursue undergraduate and graduate programs specific to tourism and travel marketing, including several master's degree programs in travel and tourism with concentrations in marketing.
In a marketing program, you'll develop an understanding of consumer travel behavior and decision making, as well as destination product development and branding. You'll also learn how to design effective promotional programs and study how tourism affects the economy. You may take classes in direct marketing, advertising and promotion, selling techniques and retailing. Topics in international and special event marketing, market research and market data analysis will also be covered.