Tourism jobs are incredibly varied. In some, you will be behind a computer all day long, while in others you will be travelling all over the world. There are jobs that require solid technical and technological skills and others in which customer relations are part of the everyday role. From this range of jobs, we have chosen 7 roles that are out of the ordinary, accessible to tourism school graduates.
Not to be confused with the tour guide (who requires a professional card and a specific university qualification), the tourist guide works for a travel operator, agency or tourist site. In France or elsewhere, at museums, exhibitions, châteaux, city centres and regional or national parks, the guide welcomes tourists and shares their passion for history, culture and heritage. The tourist guide can also work on preparation, by creating new tourist routes or themed visits. Expertise in at least one foreign language is required.
This person creates, designs, proposes and sells tourist products. They may work for a major travel brand, or a small agency. It’s a multidisciplined job as it requires identifying a particular trend, packaging an offer, finding partners, testing products, negotiating with suppliers and anticipating demand. They work in close proximity with marketing to track sales volumes and, where necessary, develop their product.
Depending on the organisation they work for, they may have to travel a lot (in particular to test routes and meet local partners) or they may work remotely and online.
A versatile, operational job that consists in accompanying groups of travellers in a foreign country (holidaymakers or business travellers). The travel guide manages the trip, expeditions, events, etc. In general, they take care of travellers from their arrival at the airport or railway station, focusing on their wellbeing and comfort.
The guide therefore travels regularly – sometimes for several weeks at a time – and may specialise in a particular country or geographical area. They are not involved in organising the trip, but they ensure it runs smoothly, based on the initial schedule. They study the itinerary, meet the local service providers and suppliers, and must also react quickly to solve any kind of problem (train delays, loss of passport, problems with a traveller’s health, etc.). It’s a job that requires good organisational skills and sang-froid, plus a good ability to adapt.
This profession is highly regulated in France, as curators need to pass an exam from the National Heritage Institute after completing a three-year degree. Once in post, curators are responsible for the inventory, study, display and storage of collections within a museum, national archives, historical monuments or an archaeological site, among other examples.
A curator may also work for major institutions – particularly abroad – such as botanical gardens, art galleries, zoos and animal parks, etc. Solid general cultural knowledge is of course essential, and you might start as an assistant or manager in a museum to become familiar with the role.
In large hotels, gastronomic restaurants, wine bars, wine cellars, cooperatives, winegrowing estates and delicatessens, the sommelier is a specialist in wines, spirits, liqueurs and champagnes. They are regional experts who know everything about the drinks, their composition, manufacture and how they should be tasted. The profession is not regulated, but a work placement or experience in wine tourism is a real asset if you want to join this sector.
Mystery customers work anonymously to test the quality of tourist services. They might be employed by a major tourism brand, a website, general public guide or specialist guide. Their role is to judge, note and assess the services received, from the quality of a meal to the bed linen in a hotel. They sign up to a continuous improvement approach and are a driving force in defining the best quality standards.
Water slide tester
It’s not a joke, it’s a real job! A few years ago, the company First Choice recruited a professional to test and rank water slides all over the world. As you can imagine, they had many applications and not many were chosen! A job that seems like one of the “best jobs on the planet” that periodically creates a buzz, such as caretaker of a paradise island in Australia for a few months.
Behind these jobs, there is a well-oiled marketing machine, organised by marketing professionals… who could also have been on our list!
Varied, open to the world, multidisciplined… tourism jobs are open to all tourism school graduates and have good career prospects. Tourism is a rapidly growing industry that represents a unique opportunity to forge a career while having fun.