Tourism officers/destination managers develop and promote tourism in order to attract visitors and generate significant economic benefits for a particular region or site.
Tourism jobs may cater to local authorities, but are now increasingly employed within public/private destination management organisations, public agencies or partnerships.
The role is varied and may include many different types of work. Key areas include marketing, visitor management and the development of tourism products, services and facilities. Depending on the level it may involve strategic planning, particularly in local authorities.
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Responsibilities for Tourism Jobs
As well as maintaining visitor services, tourism officers are usually involved in strategic planning and development. Their work involves liaising with businesses, the public and public agencies, as well as behind-the-scenes preparation and planning.
Typical activities include:
- producing and commissioning tourist information, including art work, and writing press releases and copy for tourism guides/newsletters;
- setting up and attending exhibitions and holiday shows;
- organising special and seasonal events and festivals;
- devising and planning tours, and arranging itineraries;
- liaising with local operators, the media, designers and printers;
- managing staff, budgets and staff training needs;
- ordering products and services;
- providing funding and business advice and sending e-newsletters to local businesses;
- developing e-tourism platforms, including websites, and constructing business databases;
- writing and presenting reports for committees;
- planning and writing funding applications;
- product development;
- giving talks to local parties, community groups and schools, and handling media enquiries.
Vacancies for tourism jobs posts are rare and competition is fierce, especially in larger resorts. However, you can seek for a position online through My Job Space.
Salary for Tourism Jobs on My Job Space
Salaries at entry level are in the region of $32,500 to $41,000, depending on the employer and geographical location.
Salaries vary depending on the type of employer and the area of tourism involved. Salaries also depend on line-management responsibility for other tourism personnel.
Tourism officers often work a standard 37-hour week, but might be required to work unsocial hours in the evenings and at weekends when attending meetings, events and exhibitions.
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What to expect on Tourism Jobs on My Job Space
The work is usually office based, but may involve work outside and at different locations during the working day.
Self-employment or freelance work is possible, after gaining a good level of experience in the sector.
Jobs are available in most geographical areas. Due to the cuts to local government funding there are fewer dedicated local authority tourism officer roles. The tourism function is more likely to be part of an economic development officer role, or be located within an arm’s length destination management organisation, a city-centre management team or Business Improvement District.
Setting up exhibitions and events can be physically demanding, especially if you are working alone.
The job may be stressful when you are combining working to tight deadlines, attending meetings and dealing directly with members of the public.
Invitations to new exhibitions and entertainment venues can be an attraction of working in this industry.
Absence from home at night and overseas work or travel may be required.
Qualifications for Tourism Jobs on My Job Space
Although this area of work is open to all graduates, the following subjects may increase your chances:
- tourism management;
- modern languages;
- media studies;
- European studies;
- urban/rural regeneration.
Personal qualities, skills and relevant experience, particularly of working within a customer-focused or tourism role, are often cited as more important than your degree subject. A sandwich degree with a year spent in the field is often seen as attractive to employers.
A range of undergraduate (and postgraduate) qualifications are available in tourism, tourism management and heritage management. It is important to contact individual institutions to identify your particular areas of interest.
A postgraduate qualification is not normally required. However, if your first degree is not directly relevant, a tourism/marketing qualification may increase your chances of employment, particularly if combined with relevant experience.
Skills for Tourism Jobs on My Job Space
You will need to show:
- commercial awareness;
- wide ranging IT skills;
- the ability to produce or deliver a quality product or service on a limited budget;
- excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills;
- an eye for design;
- local knowledge and a lively interest in the sector.
The ability to drive and/or a willingness to travel is essential.
Stamina is required to work under pressure and cope with long hours and, on occasion, physically demanding work, particularly in transporting publicity material and leaflets.
Pre-entry experience is essential, for example as a tourism assistant or in marketing, museums, economic development or information work. It is important to gain as much experience as possible in related activities.