It has a number of sectors or smaller 'industries' as it were, that work in collaboration. Each sector is an important branch of the main industry and have their own special characteristics. Commercial Services - Government & Travel Agencies Government : Apart from working at the airport (an expansive topic on its own), there do lie other opportunities at the - Customs Department where special officers are in charge of checking all luggage for illegal goods or items that are liable for duty. Guides - young graduates who have an interest in history and languages find this profession quite intriguing, since it gives them opportunities to meet new people, enhance their research skills, get good salaries etc. Knowledge of other languages is generally preferred.
The Indian Institutes of Travel and Tourism Management (IITM) offer short-term courses in this field. - Immigration Department where a tourist is first given service. Special training courses have started in some universities for learning about immigration procedures, since both the industry and the Government feel that there should be a separate cadre for this purpose.
Travel Agencies : Planning vacations or business trips to new places can be quite tiring and strenuous without the help of a travel agent. They have answers to all possible questions concerning the shortest route to the destination, travel mode, the important documents that will be required (visa, passport, vaccination certificates etc.), suitable places to stay, current exchange rates, tourist spots to visit, climate and they will plan the trip keeping in mind the clients' preferences, budgets and special needs.
A great deal of work is done on the computer where the latest information on flight schedules, departure/arrival timings, hotel ratings etc. can be obtained. Agencies may involve themselves in special discount packages, slide/movie presentations on various places and other promotional work to attract customers.
The four departments of a travel agency are - Accounts (handles the billing for individuals and groups) - - Tours (deal in in-expensive packaged tours, with the accomodation, food, transport etc. all taken care of) - Travel (provide detailed information on routes, costs) - Cargo (covers the booking and recovery of all cargo from the destination points connected by either Air, rail or road) The Department of Tourism in the Government does major amounts of work for the international market, in formulating policies, developing centres to attract tourists, providing adequate transport, advertising the different spots and publicising the various experiences, providing accurate information on all possible tourist areas.
Hotels The hotel sector is one which requires a large amount of manpower, with a wide variety of skills from housekeeping to computers. People with specialized training for food and beverage, recreation, marketing, accounting, security, fire-fighting, public relations and so on are much needed. There are many institutes that offer hotel management and candidates from institutes like the one at Pusa, Delhi have good future prospects. Many hotels also offer overseas training opportunities, which allow young people to gain promotions rapidly. Employment in foreign countries for Indians is also very encouraging. In India alone, about 1, 80,000 vacancies are expected to be filled within the next decade.
Transport As we know, transport can mean anything which takes us from one place to another - by air, road, railway, sea etc. The two main areas we will discuss are air and road transport. Travel by air - Post Second World War saw a tremendous change in travel, with the increased access to air travel. People got more opportunities to see other places and tourism advanced at a high pace.
Working in an airline, whether on the ground staff or in flight is an exciting option for many people these days. Foreign airlines like Aeroflot, British Airways, Royal Jordanian have all been granted new land rights and additional flights. Many of the top airlines like Cathay Pacific, ones based in Hong Kong, Emirates offer attractive salaries and numerous benefits to their flight attendants. The jobs in airlines are challenging ones but worth the struggle. Travel by road - Coaches, tourist cars employ numerous people every year. This arena has the added advantage that there is scope for self-employment. Presently, drivers with good conversational skills, who are educated, bi- or multi-lingual are much in demand. Bank loans are available for those wishing to invest in vehicles for this purpose.
Since this industry has so many areas, the requirements for each field will naturally be different. In general, most candidates enter the field through a travel agency or a tour-operating company. For the government positions, advertisements are usually given in the newspapers regarding the vacancies. Candidates for these positions are only selected after passing a written exam, interview and medical examination. Most private sector companies are flexible in their choosing - focusing more on interest, aptitude and personality rather than academic achievement. Experience is definitely an advantage, but on-the-job training is also given to new entrants. The higher the post one seeks, the better should be the qualifications.This industry is highly competitive and finally, those with better education in the field of travel and tourism are more likely to move ahead faster. The basic needs are a school-leaving certificate (10+2) for those seeking a position, upto the tourist guide level while candidates aspiring for managerial positions, need a graduate degree, in any of the fields dealing with history, art, languages, geography etc.
The hierarchy that exists in the Travel & Tourism industry is as follows: Counter Clerk/Counter Assistant - deals with designing itineraries, handling ticketing, reservations, suggesting suitable routes etc. Senior Assistant - supervises the counter clerks' work Junior Executive - In charge of counter work as well as certain marketing and sales projects of the agency services District Sales Manager - Regulates the marketing and sales of all the agencies in a particular zone or region Deputy General Manager - Assistant to the GM of the department or agency General Manager - manage the agency or departments in a particular company Vice President - Executive head of agency or organisation; designs policies in consultation with the managers, devises plans and projects to expand the agencies' services; has a responsibility towards the other employees and is answerable to a Board of Directors.
It is relatively easy to enter courses designed for Travel & Tourism. The main areas such as travel agencies, transport, jobs at hotels, airline work all have good institutions that give training for about minimum 1-2 years with an adequate amount of practical training. The institutions run on the guidelines provided by the Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management and accurate information can be obtained by contacting the institutions directly. Some of the admission criteria is given in the Information on Institutions section. Eligibility : Students can enter the undergraduate courses with a Higher Secondary Certificate while the post-graduate courses, require graduation in any field.
The Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management This a reputed National centre for the education, training and research in the 'travel and tourism' management field. It is an autonomous organisation on the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. It gives substantial amounts of help to graduates, directly and also via the Universities to enter the careers dealing in tour operation, leisure management, transportation, accommodation and interpretation services. It aims at reaching complete professionalism of all human resources involved in tourism, through the academic courses.
The Institute works in collaboration with the International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University and receives lot of academic support. Programmes are being developed with many international universities (Univ. of Calgary in Canada, New School of Social Research, New York and many more) for the purpose of faculty-exchange programmes, sharing of facilities and knowledge which will benefit students and faculty equally. Eligibility & Requirements to enter these courses - - graduate degree; - age should not be more than 28 years SC/ST/OBC/ Ex serviceman + 5 years; - an entrance exam needs to be given at the specific places - Bhubaneshwar, Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi, Gwalior and Mumbai, which consists mainly of General Knowledge questions and secondly, an interview. Number of seats available at each centre is quite limited - only 50 - which makes entry very competitive.
Payscales can vary greatly depending on the company, the city etc. since the travel and tourism industry is so far-spread and competitive. Reputation of the company or firm or airline makes a difference as well. Some of the general payscales for a agency or company dealing in travel/tourism are as follows: Position Pay Counter Clerk Rs. 1,700 - Rs. 2,000 Assistant Rs. 2,000 - Rs. 2,500 Junior Executive Rs. 3,000 - Rs. 3,500 Regional Manager Rs. 3,900 - Rs. 4,500 General Manager Rs. 5,000 - Rs. 6000