Tourism is always a busy industry, and many people opt to look for employment in the tourism trade with ideas of working out of exotic locales and being able to travel. While there are such jobs, the tourism industry actually offers many more careers throughout its wide infrastructure.
Tour guides are the most visible form of employment in the tourism industry, and what most people think of when they think of a job in tourism. Whether you guide a group of students through a museum in London or teach passengers on an Alaskan cruise about local wildlife, tour guides are the point of contact for many tourists. Tour guides are expected to be well-spoken, patient, knowledgeable in their field and presentable. Many tour guides undergo extensive training so that they can answer the questions of the public about their area, whether it be the Hoover Dam or Hershey's Chocolate. The more performance-heavy tour guide jobs, such as historical re-enactors, are often moonlighting actors.
From booking agents to customer service representatives, tour companies have a lot more employees than the ones you meet while you travel. Call centers are a very large employer in the tourism industry, particularly for cruise lines. These call centers operate all over the world, and handle high volumes of calls from customer complaints to booking arrangements. However, support jobs are as varied as the tour companies themselves, they range from being a maintenance mechanic for a tour bus line to working a production line, to packaging Vermont Maple Syrup candies.
Much of tourism relies on the service industry, so if you want to work in an exotic locale, such jobs are often your best bet. Every tourist destination in the world has restaurants and hotels, and those are where the reliable jobs are. This employment may be seasonal, depending on where you look, but it can be fun, financially rewarding and can lead you to exciting destinations. Some service-industry tourism jobs include hotel custodial staff, bartenders, waiters and chefs. In 2009, the tourism industry was responsible for approximately a quarter of a million jobs in Las Vegas, Nevada alone. Similar numbers occur in many other communities around the world, and so this industry can be an excellent source of employment.
There are many opportunities in the tour industry for skilled drivers. Their skills are needed for airport shuttles, taxis and tour buses. Specialty positions may include driving vehicles such as ski shuttles in the snow. A clean driving record is essential, as are commercial driver's licenses for bus driving and for driving heavy vehicles.
Many tourist destinations offer classes. Water sports are very popular at many resorts and hotels, and the staff usually includes instructors for sailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, and even scuba diving. Cruise ships often employ instructors in a variety of areas, including arts and crafts, foreign languages (spanish instruction is very popular on Mexican Riviera cruises), and ballroom dancing. Other instructors at large resorts and tourist communities may include tennis, golf, dance and fitness.