Working in either the hospitality industry serving guests in one capacity or another or in the travel industry, you get to see a different side of the world. You’re not stuck permanently in a cubicle at the office because you get to meet different types of people, see other cities or countries, and enjoy different experiences. It’s an interesting field because there are so many jobs within these industries, you can pick which suit your personality, lifestyle, and interests.
Let’s look at a few of the interesting jobs available in travel and hospitality.
A job in hotel hospitality involves working directly with guests. It’s a customer-facing role that places you front and center with guests checking in, dealing with their personal requests, handling problems that arise during their stay, and efficiently checking them out again. For experienced hospitality workers, there’s the role of day manager or night manager. There was even a recent drama TV show based around the night manager position and how they got involved with the problems of the hotel guests. It was fanciful but is filled with a lot of intrigue and suspense from author John le Carré.
To work in a senior position, you should look into hospitality degrees. These cover all aspects of working in the industry and what different positions entail. You can use this website to find degrees to work in hotels and the hospitality industry. Also, bear in mind that many positions within the hotel industry involve late working hours and some overnight shifts too. Being flexible about working hours is necessary to get the most out of working in hospitality, as it’s not usually a 9-5 role. An understanding partner is also necessary to make it manageable when you’re working an unfriendly shift that day.
Head of Customer Care
Vacation resorts often have a need for a head of customer care. This role is suitable for someone capable of managing a team. Junior staff will report to them, so they can influence the level of customer care given to guests. The role is different from working in a hotel as a manager because a resort is a substantial property with different teams spread over the premises.
There are different challenges than working in a fixed location like a hotel where different departments are perhaps easier to manage. Anyone who enjoys working in hospitality and appreciates what it takes to provide top-class service and to maintain that level will enjoy the challenge. Taking a resort to the next level in customer service and perhaps getting its star rating upgraded is a worthy goal during your tenure there.
The role of a travel agent is changing and evolving. The challenge from online bookings for flights and hotel bookings leave travel agents with potentially less to do. However, when it comes to buying package tours and cruises, this is where travel agents can shine. After becoming highly knowledgeable about each trip, they can discuss the interests of each person who visits the agency and guide them to a suitable vacation package.
Destination knowledge is also useful when selling plane tickets, hotel bookings, or discussing the stops on a long cruise which hits port several times over a single journey. The ability to befriend customers at the travel agent and soft sell by guiding their choices provides the potential for greater commissions.
Travel agents are often able to secure discounted trips from different companies as a perk of the job. The benefits vary depending on the companies, but it often allows the agent to pay for a vacation when he/she might otherwise struggle to afford it.
A tour guide is both a people person and someone who has a love of places, history, architecture or another facet of the destination they’re describing. Meeting new people with each tour group and introducing them to places and things they haven’t seen before is rewarding. Many tour guides are fans of the outdoors or love to be involved with the travel industry but don’t wish to sit behind a desk as a travel agent or a hotel clerk. Being able to tour around and help others to enjoy destinations is something they personally find far more rewarding as a career.
It helps to be fit and healthy as a tour guide. You’ll need to squeeze through tight spots on narrow paths. There will likely be some trekking involved or at least walking up and down hillsides, and you’ll need to keep up with the people on the tour walking upfront without slowing anyone down. So, fitness tends to be quite important to perform at your very best. While age is not necessarily a factor in the job – accumulated local knowledge is a serious plus at any age – being nimble enough to get around easily becomes progressively harder on the joints from age fifty onwards.
Specialist Custom Tour Creator
A specialist custom tour creator is someone who creates bespoke travel tours based on the requirements of his or her guests. They manage the requests of high-net-worth individuals who wish to create their own travel itinerary from scratch, deliver on a dream list of wants, and have a specialist custom tour creator put the full package together.
For a former travel agent, putting together bespoke travel packages with higher budgets stretches the possibilities. There’s far less of a financial constraint on what’s affordable or even possible. Having more money in the budget also means fewer times being told “no” while trying to create a wonderful experience. For people who enjoy problem-solving and being seen to do the impossible, the challenge and the pay are commensurate with the difficulty involved.
Travel Website Owner
Another way to approach the travel industry is to create a travel portal, a travel guide site for a specific country, city or town, or a thematic site like European flashpacking. Using local knowledge and experience in the industry, a site can provide topical and relevant information that’s more personalized than the large travel sites like Rough Guide or Lonely Planet.
Travel sites make money in a variety of ways. Selling hotel and flight bookings is possible, but it’s tricky to get people right before they’re about to buy a ticket to fly. To get around this limitation, travel sites post advertising on the site from Google Adsense and other advertisers, accept guest posts and sell travel guides. Some people even create a network of travel blogs and aim to sell travel gear like backpacks, swimwear and other items that people regularly buy before they fly out.
Working in the travel industry is totally different than a regular 9-5 job. Most of the positions are so varied and separate from one another that you can specialize or switch roles once you’re qualified to work in the travel or hospitality industries. There are plenty of opportunities to avoid a regular office job if you don’t wish to do so. However, people in their 40s or 50s should consider how they’ll handle being on their feet much of the day when they’re no spring chicken anymore. It can get progressively more difficult to cope as time ticks on. Therefore, it’s useful to think about your role in either industry a little later in life and how it might need to change.