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Tourism officer: Job description

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Tourism officers/destination managers develop and promote tourism in order to attract visitors and generate significant economic benefits for a particular region or site.

They may work for local authorities, but are now increasingly employed within public/private destination management organisations, public agencies or partnerships.

The role is varied and may include many different types of work. Key areas include marketing, visitor management and the development of tourism products, services and facilities. Depending on the level it may involve strategic planning, particularly in local authorities.

Economic development or urban and rural regeneration is also an increasingly common part of a tourism role, and tourism officers, therefore, usually work closely with residents and businesses in a local community in order to support the local economy.

Typical work activities

As well as maintaining visitor services, tourism officers are usually involved in strategic planning and development. Their work involves liaising with businesses, the public and public agencies, as well as behind-the-scenes preparation and planning.

Typical activities include:

  • producing and commissioning tourist information, including art work, and writing press releases and copy for tourism guides/newsletters;
  • setting up and attending exhibitions and holiday shows;
  • organising special and seasonal events and festivals;
  • devising and planning tours, and arranging itineraries;
  • liaising with local operators, the media, designers and printers;
  • managing staff, budgets and staff training needs;
  • ordering products and services;
  • providing funding and business advice and sending e-newsletters to local businesses;
  • developing e-tourism platforms, including websites, and constructing business databases;
  • writing and presenting reports for committees;
  • planning and writing funding applications;
  • product development;
  • giving talks to local parties, community groups and schools, and handling media enquiries.

Strategic aspects of the work include:

  • commissioning and/or producing tourism strategies and economic impact studies for implementation;
  • lobbying the industry and government on strategic matters such as quality assessed accommodation, collation of national/international statistics;
  • devising and coordinating marketing campaigns;
  • undertaking market research with members of the public and visitors to particular attractions;
  • providing a range of information on local resources and facilities;
  • supporting the local tourism industry through providing promotional opportunities;
  • encouraging the creation of a tourism association or similar body;
  • running training courses to encourage networking and economic growth in the tourism industry.

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Written by AGCAS editors
December 2014

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