Hospitality and tourism is all about extending your social skills into your working life. Essentially, these kinds of jobs are concerned with providing services to customers; whether it’s cooking awesome food, serving drinks on a cruise ship or teaching people how to ride a snowboard at a ski resort. While hospo and tourism are often treated as a casual or temporary lifestyle choice, these industries also boast a whole bunch of long-term career options.
Will it suit me?
Hospitality and tourism are super social industries, so if you’re enthusiastic about great food and drink, and you can hold a conversation, you’re already halfway there. Passion within a specific area, such as adventure tourism or live music might be another pathway to getting involved in hospitality and tourism. These industries are highly seasonal and oriented around shift work, so working with a flexible schedule is definitely a factor to consider.
What can I do?
Chef, cook, bartender, concierge, front desk clerk, tour guide, guest services officer, housekeeper, maintenance worker, marketing coordinator, porter, travel agent, valet parking attendant, hotel manager, event planner, event manager, promoter, public relations manager, catering staff, ski/snowboard instructor, flight attendant, deckhand, boat captain, waiter, dishwasher, restaurant manager, delivery driver, wine maker, barista, gambling attendant, dive master, surf teacher.
How do I get there?
Education requirements within these industries are really broad and very much depend on your job title. While dishwashers, housekeepers and waiters are generally trained on the job, chefs usually complete an apprenticeship, tour guides can study at university or complete a traineeship and travel agents will often need to complete a TAFE course. It’s common to start in an entry-level role, like say, as a dishwasher, then work your way up to a more stable career, like becoming a trained chef. It really depends on what you want to do though.
Is it a good industry?
There are perks and there are drawbacks. You’ll often find yourself working shifts which can require odd hours – late nights and early mornings, which doesn’t suit everyone. The busiest times are typically weekends and holiday periods, and some pars of the tourism industry only run for certain parts of the year. The pay varies a lot, but most people don’t do it for the money.