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What is Tourism Management?

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  • 0:05 What Do You Want To Be?
  • 0:39 What Is Tourism Management?
  • 2:37 Tourism Management Careers
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Tourism management is a broad field with many opportunities. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the basics of tourism management and gain some insight into a career in the industry.

What Do You Want to Be?

Sarah has always enjoyed traveling, exploring new places, and putting together vacations that are equal parts fun, relaxation, and education. Since she's just completed an associate's degree in hospitality, she's working on turning her passion into a life-long career. Sarah is considering furthering her studies in tourism management. She decides to do some Internet research into what a career in tourism management might involve. Let's take a peek over Sarah's shoulder and see what she's found.

What Is Tourism Management?

Tourism management is the oversight of all activities related to the tourism and hospitality industries. It's a multidisciplinary field that prepares people with the interest, experience, and training for management positions in the food, accommodations, and tourism industry. Tourism management might also include the enterprises, associations, and public authorities that market tourism services to potential travelers.

Tourism management marries three areas:

  1. Business administration functions, such as finance, human resources, and marketing
  2. Management theories and principles
  3. Tourism industry topics, such as travel motivation, environmental factors, and tourism organizations

Tourism, or the idea of people traveling to destinations away from their home for business or pleasure, is a growing field with many opportunities. For tourism professionals, these opportunities include work in the facilities where tourists stay as well as employment in the activities tourists undertake during these trips. People embark on tourism for all kinds of reasons: to relax, to visit family, to take in new cultures, and as part of business and professional outings. As an industry, tourism is important to development, growth, and economic potential.

The tourism industry usually includes three main business-related components. These are:

  • Accessibility: Travel and transportation arrangements, such as cars, public transit options, cruise ships, trains, and airplanes
  • Accommodations: Hotels, motels, resorts, camping spaces, cabins, and more
  • Attractions (or some type of entertainment or activity): Theme parks, historical sites, or natural resources

Tourism Management Careers

A career in tourism management might take different forms, such as travel guides, hotel and resort managers, or travel agents. Let's take a look at each of these opportunities:

  • Travel agents help individuals book travel and provide access to information and discounts not typically available to the regular public. These career offers flexible hours but is expected to see a 12% decline in employment from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Travel guides serve as an expert in a particular destination and give tourists the inside scoop from their personal knowledge. Travelers enjoy travel guides who can provide a local flavor to their vacations.
  • Hotel and resort managers help keep a property running efficiently while attending to customer needs. They may have responsibilities involving sales, marketing, budgeting, and staff oversight.

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