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Cool careers in travel and tourism


    If you love exploring the world, have a talent for planning holidays, and enjoy showing visitors around your own city, then you might be suited to a career in travel and tourism. The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in Australia, and comes with some pretty cool job perks for those in the right roles. 

    We spoke to North Metropolitan TAFE’s travel and tourism lecturer Steve Mulholland, who gave us the rundown on the industry, its job opportunities and how to start your career pathway in Perth Western Australia (WA).

    What is the travel and tourism industry?

    The tourism and travel industry covers all of the services that help people travel. As Steve explains, the industry is divided into two distinct sectors: “A career in travel is predominantly outbound, where you are sending people to other destinations; whether they be overseas, interstate or within WA. A career in tourism is more to do with welcoming visitors to your city or region.” 

    Whether you focus on travel or tourism is completely up to you. Steve advises future students to think about the area they’re most passionate about when choosing a specialisation. 

    “If you have a passion for Perth and want to showcase our beautiful city then a career in tourism is for you, whereas if you wish to send people around the globe, it’s a career in travel!” Steve shares.

    The Australian travel and tourism industry

    According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the travel and tourism industry is one of Australia’s largest industries. The tourism sector contributes AUD $152 billion to the economy, supports more than 300,000 businesses and employs more than 660,000 people.  

    How did the pandemic shake things up for the industry?

    “The last two years have been very unusual.” Steve said. The pandemic has turned the industry upside down, however, things are improving rapidly. Tourism in Australia is booming and since the borders have opened and the international airlines have returned, people are finally getting to go see their loved ones overseas or just go and relax on a leisurely adventure. Tourism WA(opens in a new tab) just recently launched their new Walking on a Dream marketing campaign(opens in a new tab), which will certainly draw the attention of many potential tourists around the world.” 

    Careers in travel and tourism

    There are many different careers to explore in the travel and tourism industry. Depending on your role, you may even have the chance to travel abroad and experience some of the world’s best tours, sites and attractions. 

    “A career in travel and tourism has so much to offer! The world is quite literally yours to explore.” explains Steve. For some, this might look like working at a travel agency and helping people plan their holidays. For others, this may be working with a tourism body and finding ways to bring international tourists to their city or country. 

    “Recent graduates have gained employment in hotels — Crown Perth(opens in a new tab) and The Ritz-Carlton Perth(opens in a new tab) are always asking for graduates. Several corporate travel agencies contact us at the end of each semester, plus local tourist attractions in Perth such as the WA Museum Boola Bardip, The Bell Tower, Fremantle Prison and The Perth Mint.” explains Steve, discussing the different careers that his travel and tourism students have pursued after finishing their studies. 

    “But the jobs aren’t limited to the city. Many tour operators throughout WA are also willing employers. Last week, Perth Airport held a jobs fair where they were seeking to fill 500 vacancies.” 

    According to Steve, there’s currently a major skill shortage in the Australian tourism industry, so there are many opportunities to pursue the role of your choice. “This is great news for our recent graduates as they can pick and choose where they would like to work.” 

    Choosing a travel and tourism course

    If you’re considering pursuing a career in the travel and tourism industry as an international student, then TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) offers three different courses delivered at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Perth campus for you to choose from. We asked Steve about the different courses on offer. 

    “A SIT30116 Certificate III in Tourism will provide you with the skills and knowledge to get a job in the tourism industry at an operational level. A SIT50116 Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management will provide you with the skills and knowledge to fast-track into a managerial position.” 

    Students who are eager to work as travel consultants and agents also have the option to study a SIT30216 Certificate III in Travel

    Travelling around WA

    If you’re interested in the travel and tourism industry then you probably love exploring new places. We asked Steve to let us in on some of his favourite destinations in WA. 

    “WA has so much to offer! Personally, I adore travelling to our glorious South West. In fact, I’m heading to Dunsborough for a week in our next school holidays. I love to surf, visit the wineries and relax on Geographe Bay. Broome is another favourite of mine; the dry season is our winter, so it’s a perfect place to relax in the sunshine. On the way to Broome we also have Kalbarri which I visit in January. It’s a lovely fishing village where the kids can play in the ocean while the parents relax on the beach or a café nearby.”

    If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact TIWA for advice(opens in a new tab) on how to navigate your study and career journey.

    Last updated on December 2, 2022