Career Information for a Degree in Travel and Tourism Management

Learn about the education and preparation needed to work in travel and tourism management. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree requirements, training and job duties to find out if this is the career field for you.

Essential Information

Individuals who hold a degree in travel and tourism management may work as travel agents, hospitality managers or travel coordinators. These career fields are expected to see low growth or even decrease, but opportunities may be available with larger establishments. The education and training requirements vary based on position and company.

Career Travel Agent Lodging Manager Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Required Education High school diploma or equivalent, some college coursework (recommended) Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree typically required
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* -12% 1% 33%
Median Salary (2014)* $34,800 $47,680 $46,490

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

A degree in travel and tourism management will equip you to work in such locations as a travel agency, a hotel, an airport, or any other hospitality-focused locale. Degree levels differ depending on the career, but all of these jobs require a certain subset of knowledge, and the ability to multitask and communicate clearly with customers.

Career Information for a Travel and Tourism Management Degree

Travel and tourism management degree programs teach business concepts specific to the travel industry. These programs are often found in a school's hospitality or business college. Students may take courses in human resources, facilities management, media relations and financial strategies. Many travel and tourism management programs offer or require internships with companies in the tourism or hospitality industries prior to graduation.

Travel Agent

Travel agents assist travelers with all aspects of planning a trip, including flights, accommodations and car rentals. These individuals may be knowledgeable about weather, customs and tourist attractions of popular destinations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), resorts and specialty groups may use travel agents to promote services to clients ( Travel agents need good networking and customer service skills to build and maintain a clientele base.

The proliferation of travel-based websites and a poor economy have hurt the career prospects of travel agents. The BLS indicates that employment for travel agents is expected to decline by 12% from 2012-2022. In May 2014, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of a travel agent was $34,800.

Lodging Manager

Lodging managers may be referred to by other titles and are responsible for operating hotels, motels and resorts. The individual in charge of the overseeing the complete operation is usually called the general manager. The number of managers depends on the size of an establishment. Larger resorts or hotels may have managers for housekeeping, food service and human resources while small motels may only have a single manager.

Many lodging managers begin as assistant managers or regular employees before advancing. They train staff members and may be charged with promoting viable candidates to management positions. Lodging managers may track the financial data and market an establishment's amenities to businesses, organizations and travelers. They need to be skilled at solving problems and handling multiple tasks at once.

The BLS states that employment for lodging managers was expected to increase just 1% from 2012-2022. This slow growth is due to cutbacks in management positions and current managers taking on more responsibilities. The best opportunities may be with larger establishments that have more departments. According to the May 2014 BLS, the median annual salary of lodging managers was $47,680.

Travel Coordinator

Travel coordinators organize the travel arrangements of corporations or large organizations, such as universities and non-profits. Their job duties may include booking flights on commercial or private jets, reserving conference rooms, forwarding information to the appropriate personnel and supervising support staff. reports as of July 2015 that travel coordinators make a median salary of $41,710. The BLS also reported in May 2014 that meeting, event, and convention planners make a median annual salary of $46,490, and that job prospects for that position are expected to increase by 33% from 2012 to 2022.

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