(Frequently Asked Questions)
Job Hunting as a
1. Who employs graduates in tourism? industry is worth just over £110 billion and
Graduates are employed throughout the tourism employs more than 1.3 million people. Many
industry, which is very fragmented. Tourist organisations have graduate training schemes,
boards and strategic authorities provide an which can be competitive and so it is an area
important focal point for marketing the thousands where having experience can be very beneﬁcial.
of small enterprises offering travel services to With the London Olympics in 2012, there is
tourists. Large commercial companies such expected to be an increase in the number of
as Thomson and Thomas Cook continue to tourism-related jobs available.
dominate the outbound travel market, although
small specialist operators may also ﬂourish, The majority of roles within the tourism sector
especially with the current demand for bespoke are non-graduate. Graduate schemes are not
travel options. common, though some do exist within the larger,
multinational companies. For example, most of
VisitBritain www.visitbritain.co.uk is the the major hotel groups offer graduate schemes.
national tourism agency, with links to tourist Thomas Cook offers a graduate training scheme
agencies and attractions throughout the UK. and TUI will re-launch its scheme in 2011.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) These schemes are open to all graduates and
www.abta.com provides details of local competition is very strong. AA Appointments
accredited travel companies. operate a graduate recruitment scheme in
conjunction with The Institute of Travel and
Tourism is a fast-growing industry, but with the Tourism. Further details can be found on their
credit crunch in 2008, ﬁgures have dropped respective websites.
as people have less money to spend and
companies are unable to expand as rapidly. 2. What are employers looking for?
There are a number of issues that tourism Application forms, CVs and covering letters
businesses need to overcome such as need to reﬂect the mix of subject speciﬁc and
increased air ticket prices due to ﬂuctuating technical skills that you have developed during
oil prices and people reducing their travel by your degree. They should demonstrate an
air due to concerns over their carbon footprint understanding of products within the tourism
and terrorism. industry and its structure the role of tourism in
the communities and environments it affects
Despite this, the industry is still producing good and the nature and characteristics of tourists.
ﬁgures. A report commissioned by VisitBritain
and Tourism Alliance, states that the UK tourism
Employability & Careers
Department of Student Services
Other skills and aptitudes Just under 30% had taken clerical or secretarial
In addition, employers look for evidence of IT, jobs or were working in retail, catering, waiting
analytical and problem solving skills, as well and bar work, showing a continuing trend
as team work and leadership skills, perhaps for graduates needing to gain experience to
developed through group work on your course. combine with their qualiﬁcations.
You will also need to give evidence of your
communication skills, demonstrated through Tourism often provides opportunities to travel
report writing and presentations, or customer and it is possible to have an international career
service roles. with major leisure travel groups. Some offer
training on the job and most expect you to start
However, you need to be aware that in today's at the bottom and work your way up.
competitive world you need much more than
just qualiﬁcations. Employers are increasingly Travel Agency Manager – usually works from
asking for graduates who have relevant work a retail outlet offering travel products and may
experience. It will help to have experience of be involved in sales development and
other countries and time spent travelling can operational management. For more detailed
be an investment. Language skills can also information read the occupational proﬁle at
increase your employment opportunities in www.prospects.ac.uk/links/travelagencyman.
the tourism industry.
Tour Manager/Holiday Representative –
3. What kind of work can I do? organises and accompanies groups of holiday
You can choose between a wide variety of jobs makers on package tours in the UK and abroad.
that are degree-related or those that appeal Resort representatives often spend the summer
because they use other interests or elements season in one country and winter in another.
of your degree. Large tour operators employ For more detailed information read the
graduates in a range of functions, including occupational proﬁle at
marketing, operations, sales, administration, www.prospects.ac.uk/links/tourmanager.
IT, contracts, and product development.
Tourist Information Centre Manager –
In 2008, six months after graduation, 66% of manages all aspects of the tourist information
graduates with travel and tourism degrees centre, or visitor centre, providing information
had entered full-time paid work, with a further to the public about local attractions, events,
8% working part time and an additional 4% and facilities in the region. For more detailed
combining work and study. Of those who had information read the occupational proﬁle at
found employment, 19% were in commercial, www.prospects.ac.uk/links/tourinfocen.
industrial and public sector management, which
includes careers in hotel, travel and tourism Tourism Ofﬁcer – develops and promotes
management, 14% had started as business tourism in order to attract visitors and produce
and ﬁnance professionals, and almost 9% had economic beneﬁts for a site or region. For more
entered marketing, sales and advertising, which detailed information read the occupational proﬁle
possibly includes signiﬁcant numbers working at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/tourismoff.
with travel agencies.
Other options – jobs where your degree would to research the organisation carefully in advance
be useful include hotel manager, customer and to send your letter to a named person. For
services manager, outdoor pursuits manager, more tips refer to the CV and Covering Letter
and event organiser. It is also worth noting that guide which you can view at
many graduate vacancies do not specify www.lsbu.ac.uk/clsd/careers.
a particular degree, so do not restrict your
thinking to jobs listed here. The “Creative job hunting and networking in a
changing market” guide will help you to make
4. Where can I ﬁnd information about speculative applications. You can view a copy at
employers to approach? www.lsbu.ac.uk/clsd/jobshopandcareers.
Most of the information about employers is found
online. Jobs are advertised on company or 5. What help can I get from
specialist websites. Employability & Careers?
• TARGETjobs • Information regarding careers,
targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/ employers, part-time and full-time
hospitality-leisure-and-tourism vacancies, postgraduate study, etc.
• Institute of Travel and Tourism,
(AA Appointments) www.itt.co.uk • Advice and assistance with CV and covering
• Links to Tourist Boards and Tourist letter preparation, application forms,
Information Centres (most recruit locally) psychometric tests, interview techniques and
www.visitbritain.com assessment centres.
• Local authority (Tourism Ofﬁcers)
www.jobsgopublic.com • Careers guidance.
• My Travel (part of Thomas Cook) 15 minute quick query sessions are
www.mytravelcareers.co.uk available on a ﬁrst come ﬁrst served basis for
• Travel Weekly CV checking or careers queries. For times
www.travelweekly.co.uk/jobs see: www.lsbu.ac.uk/clsd/careers
• Thomas Cook
www.thomascook.com/recruitment Longer pre-booked careers interviews are
• Thomson (part of the TUI group) also available on request.
• Travel Trades Gazette Alternative formats of this leaﬂet are
www.ttglive.com available. Any special requirements should
• TUI be requested in advance.
• Visit London
As well as responding to advertised job
vacancies, it can also pay to apply speculatively
to companies by sending a copy of your CV with
a covering letter detailing your interest and the
type of position that you are seeking. Remember
Location: Ground Floor, Technopark
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 09:00 - 17:00
(19:00 on Wednesdays during term-time)
Tel: 020 7815 6710/6431
Website: www.lsbu.ac.uk/clsd/careers Updated by EB Mar 2010