Dispelling the Myths around the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
When someone mentions tourism and hospitality, do you instantly think of restaurant servers? Hotel front desk clerks? Tour guides? But those are far from the only jobs available – there is a large range of companies and job positions within the industry you may never have even thought existed! Here are some facts you might not have known about the industry.
One common myth is that all tourism and hospitality job positions are related to front-line customer service in restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions like museums – basically, jobs that require you to deal with people.
Another assumption is that people who work in this industry require little or no educational background because the jobs are entry-level and not long-term careers – the types of job you do during the holidays or as part-time work to earn a bit of extra cash, right?
Neither of these is completely true. Let’s clarify some of these myths…
Did you know there are over 400 occupations in the tourism industry? This industry can be divided into five sectors: accommodations, food and beverage services, transportation, travel services, and recreation and entertainment. All these have front-line customer service positions, but they also require finance, HR, maintenance, or marketing and sales support – which means they would need accountants, HR specialists, technicians, salespeople and marketers. These aren’t the typical jobs you would think of in this industry, nor are they jobs that require you to be constantly dealing with people, but they exist! Learn more about the endless possibilities of working in tourism through our Career Explorer!
Many tourism jobs are entry level jobs and they are great for seasonal or part-time work, but there are so many opportunities to progress in the industry and move your way up to a lifelong career. James Bingham started out as a bellman, worked his way up to be a front office supervisor and acting front office manager, then became the general manager of the Coast Sundance Lodge at Sun Peaks Resort – all in just five short years, before he turned 30.
The great thing about this industry is that you can transition to different areas in the sector or grow within the position. Barry Johnson was originally an executive chef and the Director of Food and Beverage at Delta Hotels, but decided to transfer and became the Rooms Divisions Manager, where he could learn and apply different skills to continue his professional development, keeping his career dynamic.
With options to work flexible hours, the jobs you find in this industry can be fun and dynamic, and the skills and experience you gain on the job allow you to work anywhere in the world – because there’s a tourism industry almost anywhere! With so many career opportunities offered in the industry, you just need to know what’s available and find the right fit for you. Discover more reasons why a tourism career might be suitable for you!