When the world seems smaller and there’s too much destination information, the tourism industry steps up providing welcome advice and transportation solutions for business and recreation.

Tourism is when people travel to destinations outside their home environment for leisure, recreation or business purposes. The tourism industry encompasses transportation services, accommodation, recreational activities and entertainment. Unfortunately, the tourism industry is often susceptible to economic conditions, resulting in a decrease in industry profits and activities during economic recessions. The tourism industry has also advanced with technology, making it easier to book accommodation, transportation and reservations online.

Careers in tourism offer many diverse roles and settings. Tourism careers include working in a hotel or resort, on a cruise ship, in an adventure sports centre, as a tour guide leading activities and historical trips, as a travel guide writer or as a driver or flight attendant. Individuals in the tourism field should have a love and appreciation for travel, strong coordination and organisational skills to coordinate trips, services, schedules and accommodation, and enjoy working with people. Many individuals pursuing a career in tourism have specialised skills and interest in particular activities such as scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, hiking, etc.

Professionals working in the tourism industry generally work nontraditional hours according to the hours of operation of hotels, restaurants and recreational centres, transportation requirements and activity schedules. Some careers associated with the tourism industry require formal educational programs such as hotel managers, pilots and other leadership roles; however, most careers in tourism require specific skill sets rather than formal education. Careers in tourism can offer exciting and unconventional work settings and opportunities.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Australian Federation of Travel Agents  

Australian Hotels Association  

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC)

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism  

Tourism Accreditation Australia Ltd 

Tourism Alliance Victoria 

Tourism Australia 

Tourism Council Western Australia 

Tourism Industry Council NSW

Skills and personality

  • Analytical and evaluation skills to assess programs and services and customer satisfaction to make improvements
  • Coordination and problem solving abilities working with other staff and professionals and setting up times and resources for events and activities
  • Creativity and ingenuity developing advertising strategies for programs, accommodation and services
  • Enjoy working directly with people and helping them to have an enjoyable time
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to meeting sales goals and reaching out to potential customers
  • Excellent communication skills making guests feel welcome and comfortable
  • Exceptional customer service skills assisting guests and clients and ensuring satisfaction
  • Highly organised and able to multi-task performing different tasks at the same time
  • Leadership abilities managing staff and programs
  • Planning skills, organising activities and services for clients