According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTT), travel and tourism industry alone makes up for a significant 8% of the total world’s jobs. One of the few sectors which has immense potential for growth and is not that much hit by any recession. International travel alone accounts for more than 840 million tourists annually world wise and to serve this number, one needs that size of a workforce to drive this industry every year. Besides being just an exciting job but also looking at the economic and environmental impact of tourism is very significant and by such a way it creates sustainable jobs and also promotes environment-driven programs around the world. So it’s important that you research enough on your specialization before getting into it.
If you are thinking of establishing a career in the field of tourism and hospitality, you can start with specialised course/programs in Tourism and Hospitality Management
. Whilst being in these courses you will have the opportunity to work in a vibrant and welcoming environment in sectors such as transport, hotel and restaurant, tourism, airlines, railways etc. All these courses have an option of being topped up with a management specialization which can open the operational doors of such sectors for you.
Though there are new sub-sectors which keep coming up with every new specializations and industry requirements, but these are the common ones. Hospitality and tourism represents a broad range of career opportunities in the current industry scenario that include:
- Tourism destinations and attractions
- Hotels and resorts
- Restaurants and commercial food service
- Leisure, recreation and sports management
- Airlines, cruises and other transportation
- Environmentally sustainable and cultural tourism development
- Spa and wellness management
- Event management.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst defines ‘Hospitality and Tourism Management’ as a multidisciplinary field with the purpose of Equipping people with expertise, commitment and skills for management, marketing and operations positions in the expanding food, accommodations and tourism industry.Hospitality and tourism management is a rapidly growing field of study. Graduates receiving degrees in hospitality and tourism management often find careers in restaurants, hotels, casinos and other food service industries. Graduate degrees in hospitality and tourism management are available in many universities like George Washington University and Purdue University and Le Cordon Bleu across the USA, Australia, UK, France and a couple of thousand universities around the globe.
Those of you who already have Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, can build a very sound career in the same by doing a postgraduate program in small business management, leadership training and employee relations to develop skills to motivate employees and hence enter the realm in an operational or ad ministerial role. Customer service training that focuses on how to handle conflict, troubleshoot customer problems, and maintain fair and ethical standards are also popular choices when working in hotel management.
To give you an idea of what is taught in a typical hospitality course, we got you an excerpt from various sources.
Topics covered in a hospitality degree course
A Master's or a Bachelor's in tourism and hospitality management helps you gain hands-on experience of this vivid yet much disciplined industry. The course, depending on individual universities across the globe, may have courses such as tourism geography, customer service, business math, hospitality law, accounting, convention marketing, and hotel reservations systems. Some of these programs are specialization courses in certain colleges. Ideally, the program should be able to prepare you for most of the popular job roles in the tourism and hospitality industry some of which are:-
You can find the maximum career opportunities in airlines after completing a course in tourism and hospitality management. With this qualification, you should be able to land jobs in managerial positions overseeing the operations of various industries. You could work in reservations, maintenance, and more.
2. The cruise industry
With a course in tourism and hospitality management, you should be able to pick up the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the multi-billion dollar cruise industry. Whether it’s in the area of entertainment and recreation to food and leisure, this industry has plenty of career opportunities for you.
3. Hotels and resorts
After completing a degree in tourism and hospitality management, you can even build a career in the accommodation aspect of tourism. This involves hotels, motels, and resorts. You could hold the role of a General Manager or even a Resident Manager. In these roles, you would be required to oversee the overall functioning and administration of the business.
4. Event management
Another popular career option for graduates of tourism and hospitality management is in event management as an event planner. Your job would involve overseeing the planning and organization of upcoming events such as concerts, fundraisers, and charity events. With this career option, you could be working for various enterprises related to the field such as cruise ships and international hotel chains.
5. Travel counsellor
With a management course in tourism and hospitality, you could even pursue a career as a travel counsellor. This involves giving advice and guidance to clients in regards to travel destinations as well as products and services. You would be required to work closely with the client and oversee proper travel arrangements like booking reservations, issuing necessary documentation, and giving notifications about any changes or new requirements related to their travel plans.
Regardless of what career in tourism management you choose, you will need excellent English skills and being fluent in another language is a great plus.
Hospitality and Tourism in India- Scope and Growth.
India has been a largely untapped market for Travel and Tourism Industry. It includes a multitude or array of various disciplines in various broad Travel, Tourism and Trade subsectors - cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural and religious tourism. India has been recognised as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and international tourists and also a significant eco-tourism hotspot on the global map.
The Total contribution by the Travel and Tourism sector the nation’s GDP is expected to increase from US$ 136.3 billion which was in the year 2015 to US$ 275.2 billion in 2025. Travel and tourism is the third largest foreign exchange earner for India. In 2014, the country managed foreign exchange earnings of USD 19.7 billion from tourism.
The Government of India under proper guidance has been able to turn the game around for this industry and opened newer doors to its development. The launch of several branding and marketing initiatives by the Government of India such as ‘Incredible India! ‘And ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ programmes that have given this sector the requires boost and focused impetus to growth. The Indian government has also released a fresh category of visas - the medical visa or M visa, to encourage medical tourism in the country. According to the numbers, India has had nearly half a million medical tourists in the year 2015, implying an annual growth of 30 per cent since the last few years before 2015 and the same growth is being expected in the next 5 years. In November 2014, Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) which is enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), known as the e–Tourist Visa scheme for 43 countries. This genius and planned move has given us a 7.5% growth in tourism sector which was read in 2015.
With various national agendas launched like the ‘Make in India’ programme, the government has also been making serious efforts to boost investments in tourism sector. In the hotel and tourism sector, 100 per cent FDI is allowed through the automatic route. A five-year tax holiday has been offered for 2, 3 and 4 star category hotels located around UNESCO World Heritage sites (except Delhi and Mumbai). The investment in tourism sector is expected by a much significant amount since the last time as per the recent government talks.
Here’s a short infographic from a public presentation which gives a clear infographic:
Source: India Brand Equity Foundation
The Road Ahead
India’s travel and tourism industry has huge growth potential as it has largely remained not a much tapped global market, but with the recent government initiatives since a couple pf years, there has been tremendous growth of this sector in India as more and more investments are being made towards this Industry. The tourism industry is also looking forward to the expansion of E-visa scheme which is expected to double the tourist inflow to India. According to a public reading of the Ministry of Tourism- The Rating agency ICRA ltd. estimates the revenue growth of Indian hotel industry strengthening to 9-11 per cent in 2015-16. India is projected to be the fastest growing nation in the wellness tourism sector in the next five years, clocking over 20 per cent gains annually through 2017, according to a study conducted by SRI International.
As we have now given you a brief idea of the industry with its various disciplines, career potential and also about the economic potential of Tourism and Trade in India which has been rising steadily, we think you would be open to make choices and read on further as to which course or specialization will suit your skillset the best and also help you make a sound career change. All the best!