Australia’s tourism industry is booming. People from all over the world - and Australia itself - are flocking to Australia’s biggest cities, nature reserves and national landmarks and sites. Around the country, travellers are booking flights, checking into hotels and looking for interesting things to do in their areas. Clearly, this is a fast-paced industry that shows no sign of slowing down.
Think you might have what it takes to succeed in the field of tourism? Here is everything you need to know for a career in tourism.
What jobs are available?
Tourism is a huge industry where the opportunities are practically endless. Whether you live in a big city or close to a national landmark or historic site, you’re sure to find a well-paying, invigorating job that is both interesting and challenging.
Tourism itself covers the transportation, accommodation, entertainment and recreational activities of travellers. From the moment a traveller books a flight or a cruise to the last show the traveller takes in before returning home, the tourism industry handles all bookings for flights, hotels, cruises, entertainment features and any fun activities and is there when a traveller has questions or needs assistance.
Some of the most common jobs in tourism are:
- Agency manager
- Regional tourism manager
- International retail travel consultant
- Airport airline operations manager
- Visitor information officer
- Tourism consultant
- Tour leader/guide
- Hotel concierge
- Cruise ship attendant
You can also work directly for a hotel, resort or cruise ship in a number of roles. You may work the front desk at a hotel or lead resort guides on guided tours. Working on cruise ships means that you’ll be moving almost non-stop, checking guests in and helping them make the most of their cruise experience.
What are working hours like?
Working in the tourism industry can be unpredictable in terms of hours. Depending on which job you take, it will play a big role in determining the type of hours you’ll have. Some tourism jobs run regular 9 to 5 hours while others are a bit more unconventional.
Tour guides, for example, usually work regular 9-5 hours to keep up with visitors who are most active during the day. They might run scheduled tours throughout the day and take the last one before it gets too dark. Some tours, however, run specifically at night so not all tour guides will get to close up shop at 5pm.
Visitor centres and historic sites usually keep operating hours from 9 to 5 or similar so those working at these places will probably keep regular hours. Historic sites and homes rarely stay open past 6pm.
Working hotels and transportation services often means working first, second and third shifts. Hotels especially need someone on site at all hours of the night so those manning the front desk should expect to work some late-night shifts. Because so many people take early flights and red-eye flights, drivers will be needed at odd hours to take travellers to and from the airport. Many tours leave early in the morning as well, and shuttle and city tour buses begin running early to accommodate the first tourists.
What skills do I need to be successful?
The tourism industry calls for great customer service skills and well as strong communication skills. These professionals are dedicated to making sure that each guest and traveller has the best time possible, and they need to be able to assess their work flows and make changes when necessary.
An outgoing and friendly personality is also a huge plus, especially if you’re running a guided tour or working at an adventure recreational centre. Part of the experience comes from the tour guide or instructor’s wealth of knowledge and skill, but even more of it comes from the guide’s ability to make everyone feel comfortable, involved and entertained throughout the experience.
Organisation and multi-tasking skills will also be necessary as you will have to coordinate check-ins, check-outs, pick-ups, drop-offs, and tour and activity times. This can all run together very quick, so the most successful tourism professionals are detail-oriented and dedicated to each task.
How do I get started?
If you’re serious about starting a career in tourism, then your first set should be to earn a Diploma of Travel and Tourism from Kangan Institute. Our nationally-accredited diploma will open doors into the industry and prepare you to work successfully in the tourism field.
This diploma is earned over the course of one year and is a full-time study commitment. During the first semester, you’ll work towards a Certificate III in Travel, which is the first step needed to complete the diploma. In the second semester, you’ll finish up your diploma and get ready to graduate.
Tourism never stops moving, and so long as there are cruises to be booked and tours to be taken, there will be a demand for skilled workers in the tourism industry. Get certified today and start working in this rewarding field.
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