Working in the tourism industry: why, how?

As a student, I have tried quite a lot of jobs: I have sold clothes, organized book fairs, corrected manuscripts and even become a librarian. As a polyglot, I have always wondered whether or not I would be a good fit for the tourism industry: I now have my answer. In 2021, I have had the opportunity to spend 4 months working in a tourist information center and it has been a wonderful experience so far. I would love to share with you my humble tips on how to get there and why it may be a great job for you as well.

You may also like : 10 Jobs You Can Do If You Love Books (other than author) & How You Can Get Them.

How to get a job in the tourism industry?


Learn at least two foreign languages

It is generally a first class condition to get a job in the tourism industry. You need to be at least bilingual and to master a third language really well. Moreover, it is a big bonus if you are able to speak a fourth “orginal” language. I would define an “original language” as a language that only few people speak in your country but that is generally considered useful (in France, German is one of these as most French people master either English or Spanish but not German). To me, mastering several laguages is necessary when it comes to working with touirsts, even though many of them actually come from their country of residence.

Love Heritage and know your territory

I put these two together as in a town like mine, they go together. Tourism, where I work (in Troyes, France), is directly connected to Heritage as most of the sights of the city are linked to Heritage (Churches, castles &c.). However, if your city is more reknown for its parties (which is perfectly great), you need to know about the clubs and bars around your area. You simply absolutely need to know almost everything about what your territory has to offer.

Love people and talking with them

People will talk a lot, and you need to be a great listener. Be able to really listen to what they want, to decipher their needs and, sometimes, to know even better than them what they really need to spend the best trip of their life. You are here to give advice, and the best advice is always the appropriate one.

Is tourism made for you?


If you do have the qualities I referred to earlier (and even more as I am sure you are all full of wonderful qualities), then you need to ask yourself: “Is tourism great for me?” You know indeed that you are a great fit for this industry, but is this industry a great fit for you? Here are a few things you need to know:

Your week-ends and evenings won’t belong to you anymore

That may sound a little bit dramatic but we are not far from the truth. I personally have my week-ends on Tuesday and Wednesday, which does not allow me to have the same “social life” as my friends. When they go out, I can’t and even though I am not a party animal (at all), it can sometimes get a little bit frustrating. When it comes to evenings, the same reality hits: I definitely can’t have all of my evenings free. However, when you love your job I think the sacrifice is worth making. Nonetheless, I can totally understand why it would be a “no no” for many people: the lifestyle thus created is definitely not made for everyone.

You may also like : 10 Jobs You Can Do If You Love Books (other than author) & How You Can Get Them.

People around you may not understand your job

I feel like it is true for many jobs under the sun to be honest, but this one is no exception to the rule. Between the ones who think you are being a tourist (I mean, seriously, some people do believe that your life is all glittery when you work in such an industry) and the ones who are convinced you “give maps all day” (as if we were not trilingual people giving advice about Heritage), you have quite a lot of clichés to debunk. Nonetheless, aren’t all jobs a little bit similar in that respect?

I do hope this post was somehow informative. I usually talk about jobs linked to books as I have known them for a longer amount of time but after a few months in the tourism industry, I start feeling legitimate to talk about it. If you do work in the industry, feel free to share your experience and thoughts with us. If you do not, is it something you might be interested in trying?

I wish you the best of all days,

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