How to Become a Travel and Tourism Specialist

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A travel and tourism specialist is knowledgeable in all facets of traveling.
A travel and tourism specialist is knowledgeable in all facets of traveling. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A travel and tourism specialist might work in numerous capacities in the travel industry, from a travel agent to a consultant for a government agency. Once you determine this as a career direction, get solid educational backing and as much industry-related experience as possible. This not only increases your chances of landing your desired job, but also ensures that your customers will be dealing with a knowledgeable worker.

Obtain a certificate in travel and tourism. This can be obtained from the continuing education department of a major college or university or via an online program. Courses you might take while obtaining a travel and tourism specialist certificate center on customer service, computerized reservation systems, travel terminology, location-specific travel tips and matching travelers with appropriate travel methods and accommodations.

Determine your career path. For example, you might decide that you ultimately want to work for a government tourism agency as a travel and tourism specialist, helping to market the tourism destinations of a specific city or state. Alternatively, perhaps you want to work for a travel agency or even open your own. Your career goals dictate where you should start on the path to achieving them. For example, it doesn't make sense to work for as a marketing director for a tourism agency if you ultimately hope to start a career as a flight attendant.

Gain as much experience as possible in your chosen field. If you've opted to open a travel agency down the road, seek positions within the travel industry to gain as much experience as possible. Peruse trade publications for job listings or look on the websites of companies for which you are interested in working to determine whether they are hiring. The more well-rounded you are as a travel and tourism specialist, the more you can offer potential clients or consumers.

Network within the travel industry. As a travel and tourism specialist, the hallmark of your job rests on the connections you make. If you work with a tourism agency, you need constant updates from industry insiders to market tourism in your locale. If you operate a travel agency, then your connections will be what gets your customers custom packages and great deals that keep them returning to your business. Maintain key relationships across the travel industry, from air and cruise line ticketing agents to hotel managers and beyond.

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