Career In travel and tourism


“The World is a book, and those who not travel read only a page”    (St. Augustine)


Tourism is considered a niche area for pursuit of careers that finds favour with travel enthusiasts though much has changed on the tourism scene in the past 25 years since the opening of India’s economy in the 90’s .  It has grown fast and big with international tourist arrivals  crossing the 1 billon mark in 2012 that reached 1.087 billion in 2013 and contributed 1075 billion us$ in receipts. United Nations World Tourism Organization ( UNWTO) estimates that 1 among 11 jobs in the world has been created by tourism opportunities of income, employment, preservation of culture and meeting of people. It has the potential to propel changes in the global economies and societies.


India though a late entrant on the formal global tourisms map has leaped forward and is witnessing increasing awareness and engagement at all levels towards tourism.  In 2013, it received 6.85 million international tourists 10.5% of India’s total employment. The domestic tourism stood at 1087.3 million in 2012.  This has seen opening of new destinations and new forms of tourism  A consciousness is emerging that tourism can lead to development in a bottom up manner through community participation and small  entrepreneurs.  Tourism is no longer confined to old approach of getting more and more tourists but is moving towards sustainability.


The growth of tourism and change in approach towards tourism has created many areas of employment not thought of earlier.  People at tourist destinations are coming forward to offer home stays or to arrange meals for the tourist. This can be win – win situation for both the hosts and the guests through proper planning and management. Moreover tourism has all the ingredients to leverage the demographic advantage of India’s young population.  This sector favours employment of young, engagement of small entrepreneurs and participation of manpower at the destination level.


Young population of the country can explore careers in tourism as jobs are plenty and demand ranges from unskilled to highly skilled professionals.  A report by IMacs for National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) projects demand of 7.22 million trained persons in tourism Industry by 2022.  This is an indicator of huge employment potential in the sector.


It is important to understand that tourism as a business and industry is different from other sectors as it is based on networks integrated together.  Professionalism in each network and in the integration is the key to a satisfying tourist experience. Besides tourism is experienced in the general landscapes and is impacted by the overall ambience of a nation or the city.


Tourism industry is based on three main planks of destination/attraction, transportation/ access and accommodation. Destinations and attractions offer opportunities in areas such as a private museum, old heritage style homes, tourist walks, a theme park or a restaurant. Similarly all forms of transportation such as taxis, trains, airlines or cruises need people to run the businesses. For instance a business of car rental company will need mangers, drivers and mechanics. Same is the case with the accommodation sector. The number of hotel rooms in the country is not enough and there is shortage of trained manpower too.  There is plenty of scope to work in the formal hotels or to offer the alternate accommodation.


There are opportunities for entrepreneurs, mangers, supervisors  and workers.  This industry offers plenty of choices to entrepreneurs and people with innovative and new ideas. Some of the important areas where careers can be planned are:-


Tour operations:- These include product and packages designing, itinerary development, file handling ticket bookings, marketing, tour escorting and tour management. Linkages with tourism service providers such as transportation, hotels and others are part of tour operations. The expected abilities from an aspirant for this kind of job are good communication, pleasant personality, destination knowledge and basic knowledge about ticketing software.


Travel journalism and writing:- This areas is emerging fast with the use of social media for search and reference of tour related information. People with good writing skills can share their experiences through articles and travel blogs.  Travel guides and travel magazines look for good travel writers. In future it is expected that more and more dedicated travel channels for television and talks for radio will open new career avenues.


Travel Photography:- Those who have a passion for photography can make their careers in this tourism industry by joining travel magazines and by specializing in photographic segments such as wild life, heritage, adventure and food.


Accommodation Sector: - This includes both formal hotels and alternate accommodation and is a labour intensive sector. With the emergence of various categories of hotels, motels and other accommodations, the career opportunities for the job seekers have increased.  The growth of Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Events (MICE) and business travel has generated an entirely different domain of jobs. Many entrepreneurial opportunities exist in the areas of hotel management and operational areas of food production, food service and housekeeping.


Guiding for tours:-  Guide is also known as the tourism ambassador of a destination and holds the importance in imparting destination knowledge to the tourists. A person who is good in communication, presentation, destination/monumental knowledge can easily pursue career in this field. In India a three tier system is followed for the guides i.e regional, state and local. Regional guides are licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India are trained by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM). State and local guides are trained and licensed by respective government through their own or chosen institutes. Guides are freelancers. To become a guide potential candidates shall have to undertake the training and certification.


With the growth of niche tourism, guiding is becoming highly specialized in the areas of bird watching, desert safari, adventure tours and heritage walks. Knowledge of Indian and foreign languages add value to guiding.


Transportation companies:- Tourism transportation emerged as an area that offers great opportunities for the beginners as well as for the experienced. There are caravans, cruises, taxis, trains and many more.


Restaurants and food courts:- Destinations often associate with cuisines and while all travelers savour the food, there is segments of tourists who travels for food tours. Youngsters who have passion for food can plan careers in food courts, takeaways,  point casting outlets, stand alone specialized outlets etc. The choice is vast and opportunities galore.


Culture centres:- These are the places where local community can perform their art, folk dance, theaters and cultural programme and be part of tour itineraries. These provide good opportunity for the youngsters, artists and the local community to live their passion, preserve the arts and earn their livelihoods.


Bird watching tours:- India is a land of diversity and its dense forests and climatic conditions attracts many species of migratory birds. Many small travel companies are now starting hiring people who have good knowledge of birds and this has created an employment opportunity for bird watching guides who have knowledge about birds, handling of groups, location knowledge and guiding skills.






Opportunities in adventure Tourism; Hot air ballooning, skydiving, Scuba diving and other Water sports:- Several institute in India offer various short term and advanced courses and training for variety of adventure sports activities. This kind of tourism is growing in India and is creating large opportunities of employment for the youngsters, The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS), Goa regularly running programmes in water sports. This centre of IITTM offers highly subsidized programmes in water sports enthusiast.   Good swimming skills are pre-requisite for admission in its courses.


Handicrafts:- By learning skills of souvenir designing and local handicraft making, one can easily start a small entrepreneurial unit. The emporiums located on tourism circuits and tourists destinations have demonstrated the potential for handicrafts and folklore products.


Rural tourism:- Around 70% of  India falls under rural area and most of which are still un-explored.  This  creates an opportunity for the young entrepreneur to cover this market by providing specialized packages to urban tourists. Rural tourism also covers other forms of tourism like farm and agro, which gives an additional opportunity to the small as well major companies targeting the section.


The above is just a snap shot of career options as every day new avenues are opening. To equip people for this sector various options of training and education are available ranging from graduate, post graduate level courses to skill level training. Many institutes in India are providing skill development training through vocational courses. Higher education in tourism is offered by many institutes, colleges and universities.


Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITM) is the apex institution under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India offering Post Graduation in different tourism related courses along with skill level development courses through its five campuses. The twenty one different Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) of Ministry of Tourism offer education opportunities in hospitality.





















Colleges and Courses

Indian institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Gwalior Campus (Head Office), Govindpuri, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh- 474011 Phone : 0751 2344055,2437302 Mobile:09425407607,07205146285,09039051004,08871801017 Fax: 07512344054 Email:; website:

Details of Courses

Three regular courses are run here. All courses are approved by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The intake of each course in 93 and reservation rules apply as per Government of India norms.

·        Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Tourism and Travel)

·        Post Graduate Diploma in management (International Business – focus International tourism)

·        Post Graduate Diploma in Management ( Services)


Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel management, Bhubaneswar Campus. Dumuduma, Bhubaneswar, Odisha:- 751019

Phone : 06742472014,2472016 Mobile: 09437228457,09496332406,09090158029

Fax: 06742472013


Website :

Details of Courses

Two courses are run here. All courses are approved by all India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). The intake of each course is 93 and reservation rules apply as per Government of India norms.

·        Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Tourism ad Travel)                  

·        Post Graduates Diploma in Management (International Business-Focus tourism and logistics)

Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Noida Campus

 Plot no. A35 & 36, Sector-62, Nodal UP-201309

 Phone : 0120 2459144

           Mobile: 099777400881,09990050707

           Fax: 0120 2975144



Details of courses

One course is run here that is approved by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). The intake of each course is 93 and reservation rules apply as per Government of India norms

·        Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Tourism and Leisure)


Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Nellore Campus

Parthasarathi Nagar, NC Factory BO, Muthukur Road, Nellore, Andhra Pardesh-524004

Phone: 0861 2353199

Fax: 0861 2353299


Details of Courses

One course is run here that is approved by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). The intake of each course is 60 and reservation rules apply as per Government of India norms.

·        Post Graduate Diploma in Management ( Tourism and Cargo)


National Institute of Water Sports, Goa Campus

Sundial Apartment, A S Road, Altinho, Panjim, Goa-403001

Phone: 0832 2436400

Mobile: 094236400

Fax: 0832 2436400



Details of Courses

Around 25 courses are run by boat handling, para sailing, beach security etc. These are short term courses that involve training, certification and licensing. (This is only an indicative list)

Youngsters who want career in this industry must have comfort in travelling, exploring new places and meeting people. The other requirements such as communication skills, domain knowledge, servitude and business acumen can be acquired through education and training.






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Fr J B Saldanha