Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in Travel and Tourism

Job roles

PROFILE: Tourism Information Centre Manager

Provides information to tourists about local attractions, events and accommodation. Deals with enquiries face to face, by phone, and post.
EMPLOYERS: mainly local authorities but also national parks, private organisations.
SATISFACTIONS: helping people, variety.
NEGATIVES: lower level posts may be seasonal.
SKILLS: languages, verbal communication, organising, computing, teamworking, negotiating.
DEGREE: any degree subject, business, tourism, languages are all helpful.
TIPS: "Get experience in shops, hotels, travel agents etc. Gain a good knowledge of the locality in which you wish to work."

PROFILE: Travel Agent

INVOLVES: Clerical/technical sorting of travel arrangements. Financial & computer work after hours to ensure people & destinations match. Giving advice on travel matters. Marketing holidays & travel. Selling to customers. Meeting targets.
EMPLOYERS: Large agency chains e.g. Thomas Cook. Independent travel companies: Trailfinders, Campus Travel. 
RELATED JOBS: tour guide, retail manager, hotel manager, tourism information centre manager, conference administrator.
SATISFACTIONS: Seeing someone coming back from a good trip totally relaxed/changed.
NEGATIVES: Paperwork. Stress of achieving turnaround of passengers in peak time (e.g. a queue of people flying tomorrow). Low pay, but somewhat cancelled out by holiday perks.
SKILLS: spoken communication, persuading, listening, cooperating.
ADVANCEMENT: Limited management structure - Consultant/Senior Consultant/Manager. Regional Manager/...MD - chances to move to HQ as sales etc. The profession is bottom heavy with a lot of staff competing for promotion.
DEGREE: Any degree subject is acceptable - languages, area studies (e.g. European), geography, tourism useful.
POSTGRADUATE STUDY: not needed for entry.
VACANCY SOURCES: Travel & Trade Gazette.
TIPS: Try speculative letters to HQ of travel companies. Stress travel experience/sales /computing skills. Time out for travelling may be advantage for independent travel companies.

PROFILE: Holiday Representative

Looks after holidaymakers at resorts. Meets people on arrival. Organises excursions and entertainment. Acts as a tour guide. Handles problems such as lost possessions or passports. Deals with illness of guests. Liaises with hotel managers. 
EMPLOYERS: Holiday companies, hotels, transport companies.
SATISFACTIONS: helping people, working in a beautiful location, variety.
NEGATIVES: Poor pay, pressurised and stressful, long and unsocial hours, work may be seasonal.
SKILLS: people skills, stamina, commonsense, enthusiasm, tact, language skills.
TIPS: apply speculatively to holiday companies. Often a stepping stone to other tourism jobs.

Tourism Management Graduates

Employers will be as interested in your personal skills as your degree subject. The tourism industry will be recruiting potential managers and so decision making, problem solving, working effectively within a team and flexibility will be essential. In an industry where personal service to the customer is so important, an outgoing, friendly personality and the ability to think on your feet will be an advantage. Good communication and presentation skills are essential and you will need language skills to work abroad.
You will need to show evidence of having and using relevant skills so think carefully about your academic and other experience and be prepared to describe situations where you have demonstrated them. See your careers adviser if you need help with skills mapping.

Destinations of Kent Tourism Management Graduates

  • Receptionist – Handpicked Hotels
  • BA Business – Tourism
  • Customer Services – EUJet
  • Quality Controller – P&B Metal Components
  • Stewardess – Virgin Atlantic
  • Travel Consultant – Travel Care
  • Hotel Reservations – Getaway Travel
  • Reservations Adviser – Direct Holidays
  • Travel Consultant – Pure Vacations
  • Sales Co-ordinator – AMF Bowling
  • Visitor Assistant – Leeds Castle Enterprises
  • BA Business – Tourism
  • Classroom Assistant – Primary School






Careers and Employability Service - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 03/05/2022