Bachelor's in Travel & Tourism: Degree Overview

Oct 09, 2019

Bachelor's degree programs in travel and tourism emphasize business knowledge relevant to hotel and resort operations and management. Learn about the types of careers available to students who pursue this course of study.

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Essential Information

In bachelor's degree programs in travel and tourism, coursework covers topics related to financial planning, personnel management, marketing, promotion and amenities management. Practical work involves projects conducted in a student's senior year. Though some programs are open to high school graduates, others are designed with working professionals and non-traditional students in mind. Prior work experience may be required for admission to these programs.

Standalone classes and master's degree programs are options for graduates of travel and tourism bachelor's degree programs.

Bachelor's in Travel & Tourism

Hospitality management programs explore concepts in front office management, facilities management and managerial accounting. Some possible course topics include:

  • Tourism and lodging computer applications
  • Purchasing fundamentals
  • Hospitality law
  • Hospitality or tourism marketing
  • Food and beverage management

Popular Career Options

Bachelor's degree holders have the necessary skills and knowledge to work in management positions at resort and hotel properties, convention centers, banquet halls and other service-oriented establishments. They may work for travel agencies, tour or event planning companies, cruise lines and other travel providers. Some possible career options include:

  • Travel agent
  • Tour sales and marketing manager
  • Hotel events coordinator
  • Resort manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for travel agents are predicted to decline by 6% percent from 2018-2028 ( Sales managers should see an employment increase of 5%, and lodging managers are expected to see a 1% increase. The BLS estimated that the average annual salary for travel agents as of May 2018 was $42,720. Sales and lodging managers earned average annual wages of $140,320 and $62,270, respectively, as of May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

The BLS noted that many hotel management positions include company-sponsored training programs. Travel agents benefit from continuing education, since the industry relies heavily on technology, and agents need to be familiar with the latest trends.

Hospitality, travel and tourism marketing positions may also require graduate work, most often a master's degree in marketing or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, the BLS reported. Many universities also offer graduate degrees in hospitality management or administration, tourism management or related disciplines. Coursework often includes human resource management, organizational communication, hospitality marketing and financial management.

Students in travel and tourism bachelor's degree programs complete courses in tourism and lodging computer applications, hospitality and business. With this degree, students can enter such positions as resort manager and travel agent; they can also pursue graduate work and other classes to help their careers.

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