The Travel and Tourism industry, along with the related sectors contributing to it, is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years. A job in this industry can be highly exciting and adventurous and even pays well. In India, the travel industry hopes to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025. Though it was slow to take off in this country, the government’s initiatives in this field are uncovering a bright future for those who want to make a career in this field.
India’s potential in the field of travel and tourism is hardly close to being fulfilled. The country is a geographical anomaly, having almost all the geographical features available. According to a report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India could possibly add Rs. 8,50,000 crores by the year 2020 just through tourism. WTTC calculated that tourism generated 8.31 lakh crore or 6.3 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2015 and supported 37.315 million jobs which is about 8.7 percent of its total employment.
Career Options in Travel and Tourism:
Students have endless career opportunities in the fastest growing industry of travel” says Rashmi Samarvir Arora, Owner of Costa Training Institute, Mumbai (Hub Partner for Travel and tourism, TISS SVE). Few of the career options are working in travel agencies, Customer Ground Handling (customer service) at international or domestic airports, tour operator, event manager, ticketing officer, adventure tourism expert, transport officer, holiday consultant, logistics, cruises, airlines, hotel, and tourism departments in government and private sectors, she adds.
Important features of the travel and tourism industry:
Travel and tourism are the largest earner of foreign exchange world-wide employs millions of people directly or indirectly through associated service industries.
This industry includes everything from the government tourism departments and major multinational companies to the small-scale private travel agents.
While working in this industry, one provides services to people who are travelling for business or holiday or both, thus catering to tour packages, pilgrim travel, adventure travel or casual sightseeing.
At almost every point of work in this field, employees need to interact personally with the customers and understand their needs while making them comfortable so as to be able to provide the best service in terms of travel options and arrangements.
Perks and Payments:
Salary is pretty good in the travel and tourism industry. Moreover, you get added perks such as free travel or reduced rates for you and your family. Salaries are higher in foreign based airlines or travel agencies. Peak seasons might bring added bonuses and commission.
Courses in Travel and Tourism:
Experience is the most important factor in this field. However, there are many Colleges, Universities and private institutes that offer Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, diplomas, certificates or distance learning courses in various sectors of travel and tourism such as management in tourism, travel or hotels, tour operation or airline management, destination management, airline ticketing, travel administration etc.
You can join an undergraduate course right after completing class 12th.
The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India approved post-graduation degree in this field is a two-year full programme which gets you MTA degree, a Master of Tourism Administration. Certain universities such as the Indian Institution of Tourism and travel offer this degree.
A postgraduate degree can be helpful in getting into Positions as Managers or in administration need a postgraduate degree.
Short hand training programmes are offered by many travel agencies.
You can also opt for vocational courses to get a B Voc degree.
Required Skill set:
Skills required could include knowledge of Computer Reservation System (CRS- Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Abacus), Air fares and ticketing skills, Language skills, Selling skills, experience of handling money and foreign currencies, Customer service, Travel Agency Management and travel and tourism.
Anyone working in the travel and tourism industry needs to ideally be armed with knowledge of the global culture and all aspects of travel business.
He/she also needs to be completely aware of how to ensure customer satisfaction, while managing a large volume of business.
A strong knowledge in history, geography, art and architecture of India are preferred.
Employees in this industry need to be skilled, confident, well-groomed, should be able to handle people very well, and possess good interpersonal skills.
Employees must be ready to work long or odd hours.
It is preferable that employees must know at least one foreign language that is English.
Employees must be completely aware and up-to-date on all the rulesand regulations concerning ticket booking or reservation, passports, visas, cargo and even fines where applicable, so that they can assist in getting paperwork and documentation done.
Promotion and employment aspects are bright in this field as of now because not many skilled employees are available. One can even plan to start their own business or start up in travel and tourism by taking on additional employees and partners.