The United Nations (UN) designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports & foreign revenue, and generates prosperity across the world. The International Year provides an enormous opportunity to further showcase the tremendous economic, social, cultural, environmental, and heritage value that the sector can bring. In this post, we will look into the travel and tourism careers in India.
Travel and Tourism Careers in India: Industry Outlook, Top Courses & Colleges, Jobs & Salary, and Top Companies
The scope of employment in the tourism sector is very bright and has high potential with varied opportunities existing in both the public and the private sector. The public sector has opportunities in the Directorates and Departments of Tourism of the Centre and the State as Officers, Information Assistants, Tourist Guides etc. The private sector has opportunities in travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotels, transport and cargo companies etc.
Travel & Tourism generated US$7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. The sector accounted for 6.6% of total global exports and almost 30% of total global service exports.
Top 10 Countries that Earn Most from Tourism in the World:
Top Countries in terms of Economic Impact from Travel and Tourism:
- South Africa
Travel & Tourism Sector in India: Industry Outlook
India is rich in culture, heritage, and geographical diversity. Desert, forest, mountains, beach, old towns, modern cities – you name it, India has it. So no wonder that the tourism industry contributes the most to the Indian economy.
The travel and tourism industry is growing tremendously and will continue so in the coming years. In India the travel industry hopes to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025 and our government is also taking various initiatives to improve the structure and promote tourism efficiently.
India’s Travel & Tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, shows a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). A job in this industry can be highly exciting and adventurous and even pays well. According to a report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India could possibly add another Rs. 8, 50,000 crores by the year 2020 just through tourism.
More importantly, the tourism sector will support 37.315 million jobs, which is about 8.7% of its total employment in India. The tourism industry is a service-based one; it relies heavily on human resources. The travel industry grows exponentially with specialized education. In fact, it depends entirely on the quality individuals have to offer.
The top employment sectors within the broad travel & tourism industry include the government tourism departments, major MNCs, Immigration and custom services; airlines & small-scale private travel agents. Some of the important factors in this field are good communication skills, English proficiency, understanding the customer needs and last but not the least is the experience.
Travel and tourism is the largest earner of foreign exchange around the world and employs a large number of people directly or indirectly through corresponding service industries.
The Major Career Options (Traditional Career Paths) in the Travel and Tourism Sector are:
- Holiday/Travel Agent
- Tourism Manager
- Travel Officer or Travel Agency Co-ordinator
- Travel Counselor or Travel Consultant
- Airlines Staff
- Tourist Guide
- Transport Officer
- Airlines (Ground & In-Flight Staff, Sales & Marketing, HR, IT)
- Hotels & Resorts (Operations, Front-Office, Food & Beverage, Sales & Marketing, Accounting, Public Relations, IT, HR)
Alternative (New-Age) Career Paths:
- Retailer (Franchise)
- Freelance Writer or Travel Blogger
Important Features of the Travel & Tourism Industry
- Travel & Tourism is the largest earner of foreign exchange worldwide and employs millions of people directly or indirectly through associated service industries.
- This industry includes everything from the government tourism departments and major multinational companies to the small-scale private travel agents.
- While working in this industry, one provides services to people who are traveling for business or holiday or both, thus catering to tour packages, pilgrim travel, adventure travel or casual sight-seeing.
- At almost every point of work in this field, employees need to interact personally with the customers and understand their needs while making them comfortable, so as to be able to provide the best service in terms of travel options and arrangements.
Career as a Travel Consultant or Travel Counselor
A travel counselor works right at the front and provides complete guidance on travel. As a travel counselor or travel consultant, you will ensure the best value out of individual and group bookings. A Travel Counselor also provides destination guidance and direction on accommodation, transports, and costs. He must also handle all ticket and hotel reservations and arrange for travel insurance.
Additional responsibilities include destination promotion, foreign exchange, and selling of tour packages. There are two types of travel counselors, the first provide services for corporate tourism and the second specialize in leisure tourism. A travel counselor spends a good deal of his time in client servicing, ticketing, and reservations.
Salary Prospects in the Travel & Tourism Industry in India
Salary is pretty good in travel and tourism industry. Moreover, the industry also offers good remuneration and perks, which include free travel for their employees and their families. You can get a relatively quite handsome salary in foreign-based airlines or travel agencies. You could also do part-time jobs or can consider summer internships for early experience.
Required Skills to Make a Career in the Travel & Tourism Sector
Leadership, good teamwork, good communication skills, ability to research, strong customer focus, presentation skills, up-to-date news on current rules and regulations and documentation required, ticketing & passports, visas etc, interpersonal skills, a broad knowledge of India & world geography, working long hours. Skills required could include the knowledge of computer reservation system (CRS-Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre & Abacus), Airfares & ticketing skills, Language skills, Selling skills, experience of handling money & foreign currencies, Customer service, Travel agency management and travel & tourism geography knowledge.
Top Courses to Make a Career in the Travel & Tourism Sector
Diploma Courses after Class 12 (10+2)
- Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management
- Diploma in Hospitality Management
- Diploma in Tourism Studies
- Diploma in Aviation, Hospitality and Travel Management
- Diploma in Tourist Guide
- Diploma in Tourism and Ticketing
- Diploma in Airfare and Ticketing
Bachelor Courses after Class 12 (10+2)
- BA in Travel and Tourism Management
- BA in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Management
- Sc. in Travel and Tourism Management
- BA Tourism Studies
- Sc. in Hospitality and Travel Management
- BBA in Travel and Tourism Management
- BBA in Hospitality and Travel Management
- BBA in Air Travel Management
- Bachelor of Tourism Studies
- Bachelor of Tourism Administration
- Com. Travel and Tourism Management
- BA Travel and Tourism
Postgraduate Courses (after Bachelors) in the Travel & Tourism
- MBA in Hospitality Management
- Master of Tourism Administration (MTA)
- MBA in Travel & Tourism
- MA/MSc Hospitality Management with Specialization in Travel, Leisure & Tourism
- PG Diploma in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management
Top Institutes in India for Travel & Tourism Careers & Jobs
- Centre for Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University
- Indian Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Ghaziabad
- Kuoni Academy
- Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management
- Thomas Cook-Centre of Learning
- Amity Institute of Travel & Tourism
- Blue Whale Academy
- Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Hotel and Tourism Management Studies
- School of Hotel Management and Tourism
- National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management
- Academy of Business Management, Tourism, & Research
- Garden City College
- Al-Ameen Institute of Management Studies, Hosur, Bangalore.
- Bundelkhand University, School of Tourism & Hotel Management, Jhansi
Top Companies in the Travel & Tourism Sector in India
- Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)
- State Tourism Boards (e.g. Kerala, North-East, Goa, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim etc.)
- Cox & Kings Ltd.
- Thomas Cook (India) Ltd
- MakeMyTrip (and GoIbibo)
- Balmer Lawrie Travel & Vacations
- Jet Airways
- India Healthcare Tourism (IHCT)
- Flying Fox
- SOTC India
- Kuoni Travel
- East India Travel Co
- Kesai Tours
- Clun Mahindra Holidays
- Air Asia
- American Express Global Business Travels
- Travix Leisure & Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Top Online Courses & Certifications to Improve Job Opportunities in the Travel & Tourism Sector
Travel & Tourism Job Opportunities Abroad
Working abroad is a dream for several Indian students. Travel & tourism sector is one of the fields with immense job opportunities abroad. Countries like Australia, Canada & New Zealand are among the best in recent times. However, please be advised that local degrees are always way more preferable due to work permit issues. So, ideally, you need to hold a foreign degree.
Top 10 Foreign Countries to Study Travel & Tourism:
- New Zealand
- UAE (Dubai)
Acknowledgment: This article has been co-authored by Sujoy Sengupta. Read his blog post on Top 10 Places to Visit in West Bengal.
Featured Image Credit: www.ohmyindia.com
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & Admission Counselor at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).