An enthusiasm for the local culture, a desire to help people make the most of the leisure time or a love of travelling are some of the passions you can explore with a job in travel and tourism

Holiday representative

Responsible for looking after groups of clients on package holidays, you'll ensure holidaymakers enjoy their break and that everything runs smoothly. You'll hold welcome meetings, handle complaints, resolve problems, manage activities and sell excursions and car hire.

While not a requirement for the job, a degree in childhood studies, hospitality/tourism management, modern languages or leisure and tourism may prove useful.

This is not a nine-to-five job. You'll often work 12 or more hours a day, six days a week so you’ll need lots of stamina and enthusiasm.

Discover what you could earn as a holiday representative.

Theme park manager

While you don't need a degree to become a theme park manager, qualifications in business or management, engineering, facilities management, hospitality or tourism management and marketing may be useful.

A theme park manager is responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day running of a park. Duties include managing the customer experience, strategic planning and development, monitoring health and safety, overseeing the park's finances and staff management.

You may also be known as a guest experience manager, rides and operations manager or attractions manager.

Few graduates start in management roles. As an operations manager, you can expect to achieve a starting salary of around £17,000 to £22,000.

Gain a more in depth understanding of the role of a theme park manager.

Tour manager

Sometimes known as a tour director, you'll organise and accompany groups of holidaymakers on tours to UK and overseas locations. You'll ensure travel arrangements run smoothly and provide practical support throughout the trip.

Starting salaries for tour managers in full-time employment typically range from £15,000 to £20,000, while experienced tour managers can expect to earn between £25,000 and £30,000.

An in-depth knowledge of a particular area or region is essential and language skills will be incredibly useful. You'll also need self-confidence, energy, stamina and enthusiasm and the ability to get on well with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Find out more about the role of a tour manager.

Tourism officer

Also known as a destination manager, you'll work for a range of employers, including public and private destination management organisations, public agencies or partnerships and local authorities.

Key areas of the job include marketing, visitor management and the development of tourism products, services and facilities. 

Although open to all graduates, subjects such as journalism, tourism management, business studies, European studies and marketing will be useful.

Salaries at entry level are in the region of £15,000 to £19,000, after two to five years you could earn between £21,000 and £28,000.

Learn more about the responsibilities of a tourism officer.

Tourist information centre manager

Working as a tourist information centre (TIC) manager, you'll oversee services that provide information and advice on what to see and do in a particular city, town, area or country.

The work involves booking accommodation, making reservations, selling related gifts and souvenirs, running special events and generating marketing opportunities.

You can become a TIC manager with a degree in any subject. However, the following may increase your chances:

  • archive and museum studies
  • business or management studies
  • geography
  • information technology
  • librarianship or information management.

Discover the skills you'll need to be a successful tourist information centre manager.

Travel agency manager

Working in retail travel outlets, you'll promote and sell holidays and travel related products.

Salaries for managers range between £25,000 and £30,000. Graduates start at the bottom of the scale, unless you have some relevant experience.

To be successful in this role you'll need excellent attention to detail, strong organisational skills, IT ability and a genuine interest in travel and tourism.

Gain an insight into the role of a travel agency manager.

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