Travel & Tourism Degree: What Are My Career Options?

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Travel and Tourism degrees are in high demand in the growing tourism sector in Ireland. The skills, expertise and experience gained through completing a degree in this field can open many doors for your career.

There are several different disciplines available within this degree area; these include tourism management, hospitality management, hotel management, hotel administration, and many others. If you are looking for guidance on the best avenues to pursue after you complete your degree, look no further.

Hotel management

Hotels are a fantastic place to build a career within the hospitality and tourism industry. Hotel management is one of the most rewarding roles in the industry, offering excellent benefits, salary and incentives.

Many people get their first job as a waiter or bartender in a hotel, and often keep these jobs throughout their studies. This is a really clever way to build a good reputation for yourself within the hotel team, showing that you are reliable and good at your job. Upon completion of your degree, you could approach the management at your hotel and ask if there are any openings in their managerial or supervisory teams that would be suitable for you. From here, you can pursue in house training to become a manager within a few years.

If you don’t have a foot in the door of a hotel before completing your degree, this doesn’t mean you are at a disadvantage. A good pathway into management is through the administrative department, where there are often many vacancies across the country. Working in the hotel administration team will help you understand the operational side of hotel management, and will allow you to learn on the job while moving up the ladder.

Event management

Travel and tourism overlaps with the events industry in many ways, from management and organisation of logistics through to food & beverage service and sales & marketing. Events managers are responsible for the full scope of an event, from preparation and planning, on the day coordination, right through to post event break down. This role requires someone who is quick on their feet, cool under pressure and able to solve problems with ease.

A great entry point to this is to organise student events while at university to get some hands on experience of the event management process. Upon graduation, there are many opportunities for events assistants who will assist an event manager with the administration and logistics of an event. Progression into an event manager role is highly feasible within a few years in this role.

Tourism management

Tourism management can range from creating and leading bespoke tours and events, right through to strategic direction for the tourism body of a town, city or country. This is a sector with a wealth of opportunity due to the growing tourism numbers in Ireland. 

To get started in this sector after your degree, keep an eye out for roles at your local tourism board or a tour operator in your town or city. There are many openings for tour operators, customer service agents and sales staff in this sector, all of which are great avenues to get a foot in the door and start moving up the ladder.

Travel agency management

Travel agency managers are responsible for making dreams become reality for their customers. A travel agent will work with a customer to create their dream holiday package, helping them to plan all aspects from flights and accommodation through to trips and excursions.

To become a travel agency manager, you should try to get an internship or junior sales role within a travel agency. From here, you can start to learn the ropes of finding the best deals and information for customers, and start to develop your sales ability along the way. Once you feel confident that you understand how to deliver a stellar service to customers, you can pursue a role as a travel agent, finally working your way up to agency manager after a few years.

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