Leadership, Communication Skills, Research ability, Geography knowledge are qualities needed in professionals
Mona Cheriyan, President and Group Head Human Resources, The Thomas Cook India Group writes about career opportunities in Travel and Tourism space...
The scope of employment in the tourism sector is extremely bright, and offers immense potential, with varied opportunities existing in both the public and the private sector. While the public sector has opportunities in the Directorates and Departments of Tourism at various levels, the private sector has opportunities in travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotels, transport and cargo companies, and more. As such, the travel and tourism industry is expected to have a particularly high growth trajectory in the coming years. A job in this industry can be very exciting and interesting; and the best part is, you even get paid for it! In India, the travel industry hopes to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025.
The industry offers a plethora of opportunities for individuals, largely in Sales, Operations, Products & Contracting, Ticketing, Tour Management, and Support functions. Depending on their interests, individuals can look at careers in inbound or outbound tourism. However, irrespective of their choices, all aspirants need to have significant confidence, along with strong interpersonal skills and a passion to make dreams come true. Someone who is looking to be a part of the tourism industry must also have the hunger to learn new things every day, and always stay updated with the latest news and socio-economic trends, besides possessing a strong knowledge of geography. To go on a great vacation is a dream most people have, and the responsibility of every travel and tourism expert is to make this dream a reality, in the best way possible. If you have an entrepreneurial bent of mind, along with the requisite skills, and access to reasonable financial resources, you may start your own travel agency, ticketing firm, tour agency, travel consultancy, offer tourist information services, and more.
The travel and tourism sector comprises of many different industries and sub-industries, including travel agencies, visa services, currency exchange, tour operators, and tourist boards. It also covers passenger transport, including coach, aviation, rail, and waterways, and visitor attractions such as museums, theme parks, zoos, and heritage sites. With the growth of online tour operators, a plethora of opportunities have arisen in e-business too. The hotel industry also has a lot of online players today. In short, there is no dearth of opportunities in this sector. In fact, what is needed is a supply of well qualified resources.
With the increase in the size of this sector, the tourism industry is also going to need an increased number of qualified travel and tourism professionals. Leadership, good teamwork, good communication skills, ability to research, strong customer focus, presentation skills, and interpersonal skills, along with a broad knowledge of India and the geography of the world, are some the qualities needed in professionals today. The skills required from students could include the knowledge of computer reservation systems (CRS-Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre & Abacus), route management and ticketing skills, language skills, selling skills, experience in handling foreign currencies, customer service, and negotiation skills.
Today, travel is not about just going from one destination to another. It is a collective set of experiences that a customer is looking for. It can be purchasing their favourite souvenir from a local artist, eating local cuisine at a Michelin star restaurant, visiting a historic monument, or even staying in one of the local villages at a destination to learn the culture. One thing is for sure, a career in this industry is guaranteed to be an extremely rewarding experience!