When people travel to new destinations, they are frequently bewildered by the wide range of available attractions. With limited time and knowledge, they need assistance from someone familiar with the local offerings. Tourism management personnel are often available at hotels, motels, travel agencies and airports to assist travelers in choosing the best destinations.
Being personable, engaging and well-informed are required to be competent and successful in the field of tourism management. A tourism manager must be a good listener to be able to recommend sights and attractions that are of genuine interest to specific travelers. She needs to have good computer skills to research prices, event details and walking or driving directions for tourists. Tourism-management personnel have to excel at negotiating package deals that appeal to visitors while making a profit for the tourism company. Good math skills are required to calculate discounts and collect payments for services and tickets.
Tourism-management jobs often require approaching people as they arrive in a hotel lobby or airport to offer them guided tours or tickets to local shows and attractions. A tourism manager has to quickly develop rapport with a wide range of personalities to market and sell services. He must maintain accurate records of transactions and keep his inventory of promotional materials adequate and current. A good part of his job requires him to visit local merchants and tourist attractions to negotiate mutually beneficial deals that generate profits and increase traffic for their companies and his.
Tourism-management jobs can be performed in a variety of environments including lobbies, airport waiting areas, travel agency offices or freestanding kiosks in areas heavily populated with tourists. The atmosphere is usually energetic and upbeat, fueled by the positive attitudes of people seeking fun and enjoyment. A good part of the job requires standing or walking to interact with potential customers. A tourism manager may be required to wear business casual attire or clothes that reflect a particular event she is promoting. Hours are usually erratic and often include evenings, weekends and holidays.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to apply for a job in tourism management. A degree in history, public relations or tourism management is preferred. Knowledge of local historical facts and attractions is desirable. Some tourism companies offer on-the-job training to new employees.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
If a tourism company is large, there may be chances for advancement into upper-management positions. Smaller companies are frequently owned and operated by independent contractors, so growth opportunities are limited. According to jobs-salary.com, the average annual salary in July 2010 for a tourism manager in the United States was $40,750.